By Fred Kiva
Police have arrested four medical interns that were part of a group marching to parliament in protest of what they say are poor working conditions.
The interns under the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) were walking from Mulago Hospital to parliament to deliver a petition to the speaker, when they were arrested on Monday. The doctors among others demand good training, welfare and better remuneration.
Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire identifies those arrested as; Dr Joel Mirembe, Dr Joseph Otim Gutagwa, Faith Kyakunizire and Roland Kiggundu. They are being held at Wandegeya Police station. “We are investigating them on charges of holding unlawful procession,” Owoyesigyire said.
The interns also demand better rotation policy, a tax free allowance, salary increment and national induction before internship starts. They argue that despite being front line health workers in most of government aided hospitals and work overtime, they continue to be poorly paid.
They want their plight urgently addressed, since poor working conditions cause stress which may not be good to their patients. "A stressed health worker may be harmful to his/her patient and may sometimes not make proper judgment," observed one of the doctors.
Often times health workers are accused of being rude to patients and their attendants. This may be partly attributed to the stress that the medical interns are complaining about.