Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has explained the rationale behind government’s determination to hire about 200 Cuban Doctors, a move that has been criticized by many.
Speaking at International Labour Day celebrations held on Tuesday in Sembabule district, an angry Museveni said the idea to bring in Cuban doctors was due to the unprofessional nature of Ugandan doctors. He described striking doctors as enemies of Ugandans.
“…our own doctors behaved very badly and unprofessionally; they tried to incite their fellow doctors to leave patients to die but they failed. When we were under that blackmail, I said I can’t take it; I would rather bring in Cuban doctors to replace these doctors. When one of the doctors got an accident, he was rushed to another doctor to work on him; what if he wasn’t worked on? Very selfish!” he said.
He added: “A doctor who goes on strike isn’t a doctor, he is an enemy. I was restrained by some people; I actually wanted to go back to the bush. I therefore don’t want to hear that nonsense.”
This was after National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) Chairman General of NOTU, Usher Wilson Owere urged Museveni to halt the Cuban doctors deal, noting that Uganda doctors can do the same work with better remuneration.
The Cuban doctors will be slightly paid above Shs5m and provided with accommodation, transport, health insurance among other incentives.
Speaking about the need for a minimum wage and salary enhancements, Museveni said: “ I have been working for Uganda for the last 53 years with no or little pay. I am a president of Uganda I get low pay-Shs3.6 million which I accepted in 1996. Authority does not depend on salary. I have authority, although I am paid a low salary.”