Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has revealed that they are in the process of registering a company to export doctors to other countries following the failure by government to absorb doctors in the country.Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the association, made the remarks during the special consultation on governance for health in Africa in Kampala at the weekend.
“Doctors are not being absorbed in the country, with the biggest employer being government. We have 130 district service commissions coupled with nepotism that frustrates the process,” Dr Obuku said.
“We should be able to take advantage of that market; it pays better and the
doctors can bring this money to our country. Better still, the government can
engage the United Kingdom (UK) and we expand our medical schools, train medical
personnel for Uganda and also for the UK, but agree that part of that money is
used to build capacity in Uganda,” Dr Obuku said.
Some of the targeted markets include Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, among others.
Despite this move, Uganda still has an acute shortage of doctors in the
The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that the recommended doctor to patient ratio is 1:1000, which means Uganda needs at least 40,000 doctors for its estimated 40 million people.
UMA hopes this move will drive government to commit its self to hiring
Mr Rogo Khama, a lead health specialist in World Bank group, said: “Other professionals do not rely on the public sector as we do…. but rather than let these people go, lets us solve the problem and give them jobs here……”
Mr Robert Odedo, a chief operating officer at African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), said government should increase the absorption capacity to prevent doctors from migrating.