Medical interns in Uganda demand COVID-19 risk allowances

Medical interns in Uganda demand COVID-19 risk allowances
Medical workers have recently protested on precarious working conditions

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Medical interns are demanding risk allowances due to their involvement in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The demand was presented to the Parliamentary COVID-19 task force by Doctor Mary Lillian Nabwire, the President of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns.

According to Nabwire, many medical interns who are deployed to the various hospitals are currently at the frontline of offering COVID-19 treatment and related emergency services to patients but have never been considered for the risk allowances.

She argues that the young medics are equally susceptible to COVID-19 risks, just like their senior counterparts in the treatment units who are being paid the allowance.

Dr Nabwire told the task force that at least 100 medical interns have tested positive for Coronavirus and are struggling to afford medical care due to poor remuneration.

She indicates that the failure by the government to respond to their concerns could demoralize them hence affecting service delivery.

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Doctor Abed Bwanika, the Member of Parliament for Kimanya-Kabonera division in Masaka City, says the concerns of medical workers’ risk allowances is one the main demotivation they have established through their nationwide COVID-19 management assessment tour.

Dr. Bwanika says they want the Ministry of Health to consider all people involved in the COVID-19 line of care and support under the risk allowance scheme and ensure that the allowances are paid promptly.

Currently, the government pays each health worker in COVID-19 Treatment Unit an allowance of Shillings 80,000 for each day of work.