Lawyer calls health minister arrogant as interns strike

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City lawyer Nicholas Opiyo has accused the Minister of Health of exhibiting “arrogance and a bully attitude” instead of sitting with medical doctors to resolve their grievances.

Medical interns in government hospitals and facilities on Monday announced a total withdraw of labour services in public hospitals due to threats.

Robert Lubega, the president of medical interns (2017-2018), said they held a meeting at Galloway hostel in Mulago hospital complex where they reached their decision.

Lubega said 52.4% of interns voted in favour of the strike while 47.53% were against it.

Last week the interns set Shs2.5m as the bare minimum non-negotiable salary that must be deposited on their accounts before they call off plans for the strike citing poor working conditions.

Health minister, Ruth Aceng, asked interns to call off the strike or lose their internship placements.

“She must be concerned about the legitimate issues raised,” lawyer Opiyo said on Monday while appearing on NBS TV “Morning Breeze”.

“I don’t care about the politics involves. What I care about are the legitimate issues raised by the doctors. A senior consultant doctor’s contract letter entitles him to a chauffeured car, house and domestic worker but these things are not being provided.”

Opiyo said doctors have a right to withhold labour under article 40 of the Constitution.