By Stephen Kalema
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has tasked the 10th parliament of Uganda to increase salaries of every Ugandan scientist.
While launching the state of art Mulago women specialized neonatal hospital on Tuesday, the president asked parliament to first focus on the few scientist Uganda has in place.
“I want to ask the parliament to work together and look how we can pay Ugandan scientists a market rate salary. We have few scientists why can’t we pay them an international wage so that they do their work excellently even science teachers at all levels must be inclusive” said president.
Among the scientists president approved whose salaries to be increased are all medical doctors, nurses and all science teachers that are paid by the government.
According to Museveni, currently the government of Uganda has 250 doctors on the payroll and 23000 nurses on the payroll.
The president asked other civil servants who are not scientists to first hold on their demands for salary increase and the government first clears scientist.
“We need to first deal with the issue of scientists in terms of salaries then we shall focus on others”
In reference to Mulago women specialized neonatal hospital pay bills for the services, the president affirmed the statements made by the two health ministers; state minister of health for general duties Sarah Opendi and minister of health Dr Ruth Aceng saying that the hospital is a referral and one to receive free service from it will have to first be referred to it.
“This is a referral hospital you have to first go to lower health facilities like health centers 3, 4 then if they all fail we shall allow here after when experts have cleared any given patient that is worth to be referred but to those who may feel to come here direct will have to pay” noted Museveni.
The hospital was officially opened on 7th last month and it has been giving free services to women and according to minister health Dr. Ruth Aceng, since it official opening it has offered services to over 1040 out patients where 244 were for antenatal services, 710 gynae out patients, 42 received ultra sound check ups, 74 are expected to return still on checkups 9 patients admitted, 6 babies have been produced 1 normal delivery 4 were on operations and with one pair of the twins.
This facility has consumed Ugx 100 billion (USD25,148,067), loan got from Islamic Development Bank and was approved by the 7th parliament.
Its construction commenced in 2013 by the Arab contractors from Egypt, the facility has 10 operation theaters, 9 floors with presidential suits. According to Aceng the facility has DNA checking machines and others whose total cost is USD8M, 93 health workers were trained on the same of money.
The president called on Ugandans to much focus on preventing diseases than treating since treating is much costly than prevention “This facility is built to cater for the unavoidable diseases like delivering babies heart problems.