Uganda Medical Association Presses for Law on Internship and Doctor Recruitment in Local Governments

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The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) is urging the government to pass a law aimed at improving internship opportunities and ensuring the recruitment of doctors to serve in rural health facilities. The proposal comes as part of UMA’s efforts to strengthen the healthcare system and reduce maternal mortality rates in the country.

In a local radio interview today February 26, 2024, Herbert Luswata, the President of the Uganda Medical Association, highlighted the need to address the shortage of doctors in health centers located outside urban areas. He stressed the importance of allocating additional funds to recruit doctors specifically for health center III facilities, in line with a directive from the President.

“While the focus is often on national and regional referral hospitals located in cities, we must not overlook the health centers in municipalities and constituencies, where the majority of maternal deaths occur,” said Luswata during the interview.

The Uganda Medical Association is therefore calling on Parliament to allocate a dedicated budget for doctor recruitment in local governments, particularly targeting health center III facilities. This move aims to tackle the issue of unemployment among medical graduates and bolster the overall quality of healthcare services in rural areas.

Luswata emphasized that they firmly believe that implementing such a law will address the recurring issue of strikes and demands for allowances by medical professionals. It will also ensure adequate supervision and enhance the quality of internship programs provided to young doctors.

To safeguard the health and well-being of citizens, it is crucial to ensure a consistent supply of healthcare professionals throughout the country. The proposed law would not only attract more doctors to work in underserved areas but also ensure that medical students receive comprehensive training during their internship.

According to Luswata,  Uganda has made significant progress in improving its healthcare system, but challenges persist, particularly in rural areas. The Uganda Medical Association’s proposal to establish legislation addressing internship and doctor recruitment is seen as a positive step in providing accessible and quality healthcare services to all Ugandans, regardless of their location.

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