Over 13000 pre-medical interns have petitioned the High Court in Kampala seeking permission to file a representative suit against the Ministry of Health and the Attorney General of Uganda for allegedly refusing to deploy them.
The group led by Dr. Judith Nalukwago and 4 others claim they have a similar interest to address their plight but given their voluminous number, they cannot all flock to court, hence asking for orders to allow a few to represent them.
In their intended suit, the group consisting of medical doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists challenge the Ministry of Health’s directive to allow some to meet their own internship costs.
The have explained that the allowances paid by government help them to find accommodation, meals, and transport to their respective deployment hospitals, and with many of them claiming to come from impoverished backgrounds, they cannot afford to operate without these entitlements.
They claim the delayed deployment does not only threaten their right to employment since they cannot obtain a medical practicing certificate without having experienced a one-year internship programme in a public hospital but also affects service delivery in hospitals since they constitute about 60% of the human resource there.
They accuse their Ministry of violating their right to further education and attaining higher qualifications in respective medical fields as internship is a pre-requisite to education advancement.
In their coming petition to court, the group will ask for orders directing the Ministry of Health and government to deploy them as soon as possible in order to mitigate labour crises as those at Kawolo and Mbarara hospitals.
The Ministry of Health and the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka are yet to respond to the student doctors’ application for a representative suit.