A number of lawmakers sitting on the Parliamentary Health Committee have opposed the plan by government to import medical specialists from Cuba to fill gaps of doctors in hospitals.
This follows reports in the media that government is set to bring in over 200 medical doctors from Cuba.
The MPs noted that the government’s proposal is not in good faith but rather intended to punish and suppress the local doctors who have recently held an industrial action over a number of concerns including their remunerations and poor working conditions.
Legislators including Joel Sebikali, Fred Baseke, Betty Aol Sizomu among others noted that hiring Cuba specialists will not solve the long term concerns of medical workers.
They said it is a wastage of tax payers’ money which would have been put to building the capacity of local doctors for better health services.
On Tuesday, MPs interfaced with representatives from Uganda Medical Association (UMA) over their concerns that resulted into three weeks of industrial action.
On the same note, the President Uganda Medical Association Dr. Ekwaro Obuku said that the government’s proposal on Cuba specialists points to a failed state that cannot handle its own health issues despite the big number of graduate specialists available in the country whom government has neither considered to hire nor meet their required working conditions.
“Government’s move to import Cuban doctors would be okay if it was in 1986 when Uganda was recovering from war. Then, we were at our lowest but in 2016, 30 years down the road, this means that the health sector has gone back to its level of 1986 and in political terms it means government is nowhere,” Obuku said.
Dr. Obuku noted that the country’s health issues have nothing to do with specialists since the country graduates 500 doctors every year from the different institutions on top of 150 specialist doctors that are chunned out every year.
“We have the most qualified doctors in the world who are lacking equipment and once in a while need to go abroad to sharpen their skills.”
“So, we have demolished that argument and the importation of Cuban doctors is baseless and has no scientific evidence,” Obuku said.