The State Minister for Finance, in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi has said that 22 billion Shillings has been released to the Ministry of Health to pay and deploy the interns.
Musasizi gave the report during the plenary sitting on Thursday. This was after the Speaker, of Parliament Anita Among demanded answers about the payment and deployment of 1,900 medical interns.
“I am requesting that these interns that we promised on Budget day should be paid and deployed. I am yet to hear from the Minister of Finance…how far? If you pay for somebody for four years and don’t go through internship…that person cannot practice as a doctor. Let’s help these people, they need to do internship,” Among said.
She added that government needs to have a plan for the 1,900 intern doctors and the 4,000 that are incoming.
“We need an update on what plans you have as the government on the 4,000 incoming interns…but I need an immediate response from the Minister of Finance on the 1,900 interns. Has the money gone…now that we are crossing into the new financial year, we don’t want that money returned,” Among added.
In response, Musasizi said that the funding gap of 22 billion Shilling for medical interns has been released.
“I want to confirm that the cash limit was issued to the Ministry of Health and cash has also been given. Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this House that I am very happy that now we will have all the money to close the financial year and it has come late…implying that we shall not close until 30th June,” the Minister noted.
He also said that all government entities have up to 30th June 2023 to clear all the invoices for the financial year 2022/2023 which have been outstanding in the system.
Among tasked the Minister to avail evidence that the money has been forwarded to the Ministry of Health.
She also encouraged the Executive to have a stakeholders’ engagement on the issue of interns for better planning.
“As you encourage people to do sciences, you must have a provision for money to pay for those sciences. So you need to call for a stakeholders meeting and then agree on what should be done as we plan for those people who are already out there,” Among advised.
Musasizi assured the Speaker to avail the evidence of payment before the House is adjourned.