KAMPALA, UGANDA: Uganda Medical Association (UMA), the umbrella body for doctors and other medical workers has requested government to have their toll fees for the Kampala-Entebbe expressway waived off to ease their movement in attending emergencies.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, January 16 at Mulago hospital in Kampala, UMA President, Dr. Sam Oledo, said that the government should be considerate and listen to their request.
“As doctors, we are going to submit our written request on this issue. Doctors handle night emergencies and daytime emergencies. You will find that a doctor has to go through the express highway so that he can reach the facility as fast as possible,” Oledo said.
According to Oledo, a doctor has to reduce the distance so that he or she can reach and work on a patient in time, and thus the Expressway route offers such benefit and advantage, in times of emergency.
“Please can we stop charging doctors using the expressway? Let it be duty-free for doctors so that when you give us a duty-free vehicle which we expect before the end of January, we can have the red number plates for doctors so that they can drive but for now doctors with their private vehicles allow them to drive freely,” he stated.
Oledo further issued a warning that if the presidential directives on the health sector are not captured in the budget framework paper by May 1, 2022, the doctors will embark on another industrial action and only attend to emergency cases.
The UMA call comes days after Gen Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport emphasized that only the president, ambulances, and fire trucks are exempted from paying the toll fees along the Kampala- Entebbe expressway.
Katumba however said if the cabinet can amend the regulations, other agencies can be exempted from the toll.
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