Kampala – Uganda is set to hire 200 medical personnel from Cuba to work in
public hospitals in rural areas, a top government official said Friday.
Sarah Opendi, minister of state for health in charge of general duties, told Xinhua that an agreement
is being reached between the East African country and authorities in Havana to import medical
specialists and consultants to work in regional government hospitals, especially those shunned by local doctors.
“The discussions and plans to bring the Cuban specialists are being finalised. We shall submit a formal
report to the committee (Parliamentary Health Committee) with all the details,” said Opendi.
In November 2017, Uganda’s ministry of health mooted the idea to hire Cuban medical personnel during
the doctors’ strike following the government failure to respond to their calls for a salary rise
and better working conditions in public hospitals.
The doctors under their umbrella organization, Uganda Medical Association, also demanded the government
to meet their demands to improve pay, address lack of drugs and medical supplies in health centres
so that they can work better.
The three-week nationwide industrial action paralysed healthservice provision as doctors and medical
interns stayed away from their duty stations.
The government later agreed to increase their pay and also address the concerns raised.