Opposition lawmakers led by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Winnie Kiiza have condemned the suspension of health workers by President at Nakawuka Health Centre III.
Addressing the media in her office, Friday, 05th August 2016, Hon. Winnie Kiiza said that instead of taking such drastic action, the government should instead address the poor working conditions of these health workers which leads to their absence ad poor performance.
The Leader of the Opposition address the press conference in the company of Hon. Herbert Edmund Ariko (FDC, Soroti Municipality) and Hon. Julius Ochen(UPC, Kapelebyong).
“The President added more salt to injury considering the fact that government doesn’t pay doctors well and there is poor equipment at health facilities among so many other issues,” Kiiza said.
She said it was very unfortunate to suspend the workers because with poor pay and inadequate equipment there is no motivation for them to go to work.
“Instead of addressing the root causes of poor attendance they are being witch hunted when we all know that they are the victims in this case,” she said.
The Leader of the Opposition added that the law was not when this action was taken.
“The standing orders of dismissing workers were not followed because the supervisors were not consulted,” she added.
Winnie Kiiza said that what happened in Nakawuka Health Centre reflects what is happening around the country and that is lack of motivation of medical staff.
Hon. Ariko who is also the Shadow Minister for Public Service and the Presidency said the President’s actions were uncalled for and violated the dignity of Public Servants.
“For officers below the level of director, the standing orders give disciplinary mandate to the relevant public sector commissions which in this case should have been the Health Service Commission,” he said.
Ariko said that the law of natural fairness dictates that there must be a disciplinary committee which should issue several warnings before a public officer is suspended.
“We must look at issues from an overall perspective especially the work conditions in terms of psycho-physical conditions that these medical officers operate in, so that we treat the root cause of this problem,” Ariko added.
The Shadow Minister for Health, Hon. Peter Julius Ocen said the Opposition is to dispatch a team to visit and assess the situation at the health facility and later present their findings to Parliament.
“We shall investigate this situation as the Opposition. What the President did is a reflection of a weak state where institutions face a lot of interference,” Ocen said.
President Museveni while on a visit to the area ordered the suspension of the health workers following complaints by residents. The issues raised by residents included poor services and attitude of the health workers towards them whenever they visited the health facility.