By our reporter

There’s an ongoing feud between medical doctors and pharmacists over the use of the title ‘Dr’.

Last week, pharmacists under their umbrella body the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) resolved to adopt a title ‘Doctor’ for all registered practitioners in the Uganda.

“In an effort to harmonize professional representation within the region and in accordance with the PSU general assembly resolution of 20 October 2017, the council has with immediate effect adopted the title ‘Dr’ for all Pharmacists registered in Uganda,” public notice published in the New Vision partly read.

However, medical doctors under Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have refused to move on the same page with the pharmacists over their ‘Dr’ resolution.

In a letter dated 22 May, 2018, Dr. Asiimwe Frank, the Chair in charge of ethics and professionalism at UMA said having a title shared by professionals who serve in the same field of health service delivery and patient care but underwent different professional trainings is disingenuous, causes professional ambiguity and only adds fuel to the abounding ignorance where every healthcare provider is referred to as dokita/dakitali/musawo.

He said the pharmacists’ resolution does not help the situation when even traditional healers, herbalists, bonesetters and witch doctors love to acquire the ‘Dr.’ title.

“In this struggle to improve healthcare service delivery, it is not clear what policy problem this move is trying to address and yet the dilemma it will create is so obvious,” stated Dr. Asiimwe.

He said as professional colleagues in the healthcare sector, pharmacists are giving a very bad example and setting a very bad precedence for groups that might be harboring the intentions and the danger it potentially puts on the unsuspected public is immense.

“We are in disagreement with your adoption of the ‘Dr.’ title and would advise that you withdraw your statements and reexamine your intentions. We have henceforth instructed our lawyers to study this development and advise us accordingly,” Dr. Asiimwe advised.

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