The recently elected president of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr. Herbert Luswata, disclosed a strategy to combat unemployment and enhance remuneration for medical professionals. In an interview with the Monitor on Sunday, Dr. Luswata outlined plans, including collaborating with the government to allocate funds for deploying doctors to health centers and facilitating promotions for specialists.
Currently, medical doctors are primarily assigned to health center IV, while health center IIIs, where many people seek care, face a shortage. UMA aims to address this by urging the government to allocate resources appropriately and operationalize the new public service structure.
Moreover, UMA is in the process of registering an export company to enable Ugandan doctors to work abroad. Dr. Luswata highlighted discussions with the Uganda Export Promotion Board and plans to start with Rwanda, where a four-by-four strategy is in place to recruit professors, specialists, and junior doctors. The goal is to formalize the process through a Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring organized work arrangements and negotiating competitive salaries for Ugandan doctors in Rwanda.
Despite the challenges outlined in the Health Ministry’s Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan, with low absorption rates of specialized doctors into public service, Dr. Luswata emphasized the surplus of medical graduates from numerous schools. He expressed the need to allow unemployed doctors to explore opportunities abroad until the government can absorb them adequately.