The state minister for finance, Henry Musasizi has confirmed that Ministry of Finance has received a request from the Ministry of Health for money to pay Medical Interns’ allowances before they break off for their Christmas holiday.
Musasizi said this in a plenary session chaired by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah on Thursday 16th December 2021.
“Just today, we received a request from Ministry of Health and by close of business today we should have issued a cash limit to facilitate payment of medical interns. I want to believe that by the time we close for Christmas the medical interns should have been paid,” said Musasizi
The information minister, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, also confirmed that the Government was engaging the leadership of medical interns to iron out their issues.
“There has been an engagement between Government and the executive leadership of medical interns. The leadership will also have a meeting with the Director General of health services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa to resolve all these issues,” he pointed out.
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah informed the House that together with other officials they had meetings and will continue to have meetings with the Secretary to Treasury Ramadhan Ggobi to find out how far the Ministry has gone to pay money of medical interns.
Oulanyah then deferred the motion moved by Timothy Batuwa (Jinja South MP) calling on the ministry of health to rescind the directive requiring medical interns to vacate government hospital premises, following the development from ministers’ communication.
He said before deferring the motion to next week Tuesday to help monitor the progress of the new developments in addition to the other meetings that are scheduled.
The move to pay medical interns comes against an industrial action which has since paralyzed the public health system across the country. On December 15, 2021, during a plenary session Oulanyah granted Batuwa permission to present a motion for the house to debate the matter concerning medical interns.
While presenting a procedural matter during the plenary sitting, Batuwa said the issue of intern doctors had worsened, with over 30 doctors getting arrested as they attempted to access Parliament.
“The intern doctors have been asked to vacate their offices, as directed by the minister of health as of December 10, 2021. Is Parliament finding it needful to intervene on the letter that has been released that seeks to fire intern doctors?” he wondered.
“I ask your indulgence that this House considers a motion and we discuss the issue of interns exhaustively before we break off for recess,” he added.
Parliament had earlier on passed a Sh35b supplementary budget to cater for enhanced payment to all medical Intern doctors.