I heard all kinds of criticisms ever since doctors of public health facilities decided to strike and demand for what some people called unreasonable and ridiculous amounts of money. Many including the minister of health, Sarah Aceng demanded that these doctors should return to work since one of the many reasons; they gave an oath to save lives as their first priority. Others requested that they should learn to be patriotic, first think about the sick before themselves.
But I thought to myself, have any of these people making these demands ever witnessed the conditions these doctors go through just to treat their patients.
Well, for me, I had the misfortune this year to visit the Uganda Heart Institute at Mulago to carry out an ECG test for my heart. I made my appointment at 8:00am but the test was taken at around 4:00pm given the throng of sick people that parades around the institute. And to get the doctor to review my results, it took another two more hours. In all that time, I didn’t see any of the doctors or nurses break off for lunch or grab a snack. These professionals worked non-stop to provide the necessary services that their patients required.
Can we still say that these people are selfish and unpatriotic to demand for money that is their worth? Given the poor working conditions that’s including the poor remuneration, the lack of medicine and proper equipments plus the late hours these doctors are forced to endure, I believe they deserve it and more. They deserve to work in conditions that favor the services they render. And at the end of the day, they need their efforts to be appreciated.
Let’s put ourselves in their shoes may be then shall we understand their need for what they are demanding for.