The Minister for Health, Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng, disclosed that the government requires She80.4 billion to facilitate the deployment of pre-medical interns. She made this revelation during a session presided over by Speaker Anita Among on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
Aceng’s statement contradicted the earlier remarks of the State Minister for Finance, Henry Musasizi, who had announced the release of Shs22.9 billion for the same purpose.
However, Aceng clarified that the allocated Shs22.9 billion was not intended for the deployment of the 1,901 pre-medical interns. Instead, it was allocated to clear arrears owed to the 935 interns who completed their internship in April.
“To deploy the 1,901 interns, we require Shs80.4 billion, but the Ministry of Finance has only provided Shs8 billion for interns and Shs2 billion for senior house officers. Consequently, we are unable to proceed with the deployment until we are certain that the remaining Shs80.4 billion will be allocated,” Aceng explained.
The minister’s statement was prompted by concerns raised by the Speaker, who urged the government to address the situation of pre-medical interns whose salaries were accounted for in the 2022/2023 financial year budget.
The Speaker acknowledged that the interns had yet to receive their pay or be deployed, despite the Finance Minister’s commitment to payment during the 2023 National Budget Day speech.
“I urge the government to fulfil its promise of paying and redeploying the 1,900 interns as stated in the Budget Day speech. We cannot sit comfortably while people are losing their lives in hospitals due to a lack of doctors,” Among emphasized.
For months, Pre-Medical Interns have been protesting the delayed deployment and the government’s plan to scrap the payment of allowances.