NOTU protests gov't move to import doctors

NOTU protests government move to import Cuban doctors

The National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) has added its voice to the growing chorus of bodies protesting government’s plan to recruit Cuban doctors, saying the move is uncalled for.

Mr Peter Christopher Werikhe, the NOTU Secretary General, said the country has enough number of medical specialists, but they are poorly remunerated, forcing some to join private practice or seeking greener pastures oversees.

He made the remarks while meeting health workers at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital over the weekend.

Mr Werikhe added that if the government does not reconsider its decision, they will be tempted to mobilize other civil servants like teachers to lay down their tools so that government recruits foreigners across the board.

While appearing before the parliamentary committee on Health, Public Service minister Muruli Mukasa and the State minister for General Health Sarah Opendi last week said government has a plan of hiring 200 Cuban medical doctors. Mr Mukasa said the foreign doctors were being brought in to boost the few specialists, especially at upcountry stations shunned by local doctors.

He said government will pay each Cuban doctor about $1,500 (about Shs5.4m) per month, yet a local senior consultant doctor will get Shs4.5m per month.