Uganda’s Health Ministry has revealed that it is true that Cabinet discussed the issue of hiring doctors from Cuba at the time Doctors were striking.
State Minister for Health-General Duties Sarah Opendi made the revelation on Wednesday while appearing before the Parliament Committee on Health.
This is after e MPs demanded explanation from the Minister on the matter.
“The issue of hiring doctors from Cuba was mooted at the time the doctors were on strike. We don’t have anything concrete. It was just a discussion,” Opendi said, adding that salary increments for doctors will be catered for in the 2018/19 financial year.
“We held a cabinet meeting on Monday where we received a report from the salary review Commission and cabinet discussed this paper and we asked the Committee to review the salaries and we shall meet on Saturday to conclude this matter. The issue of doctors’ salary increase will be for next financial year,” Opendi added.
Last week, media reports indicated that Government had embarked on plans to hire doctors from Cuba, a proposal that met stiff resistance from health professionals as well as the public, with Ugandans wondering why the same Government agreed to send doctors to Trinidad and Tobago and turn around to hire foreign doctors.
MPs wondered why Government doesn’t table a supplementary budget to cater for the doctors’ welfare since it qualifies as an emergency.
They argued that Government has always processed supplementary budgets on none emergency matters.
However, Opendi defended the Ministry’s position arguing: “It isn’t small money. You can’t bring a supplementary budget of trillions. You can’t increase salary in piece meal because another group will go on strike.”