Medical Association Refutes Claims of Being Used by Opposition Politicians

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has clarified that their concerns with embattled Association President Dr. Samuel Oledo are purely based on medical ethics and professionalism.

Refuting claims by Dr. Oledo that the doctors’ body had been infiltrated by members of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who are fighting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni through the association, Dr. Herbert Luswata, the Secretary General told URN on Monday that their members are free to join any political party as long as they can draw the line between their values as doctors and political activism.

Dr. Luswata says the association has previously made tremendous strides in the push for improvement of doctors’ welfare including the recent increase in salaries without having to pledge allegiance to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) or any other political party but through sensible negotiations.  

Dr. Oledo had been voted out of office by members of the association during an extra ordinary general assembly over alleged misconduct weeks ago only to be reinstated as president by court on Thursday. At a press conference shortly after the court ruling, the surgeon said some top leaders in the association were being used to fight him and the president.

“We have to stand together. We can’t afford to see the over 2500 unemployed doctors loom the streets because some opposition diehard doctors want to detour us from the greater good of the health sector,” he said.

His woes started in early December when he together with a group of medical students and interns who were fully dressed in their clinical coats knelt before Museveni saying doctors of Uganda had endorsed the President for the next term come 2026 when Uganda goes to the polls.

A video of Dr. Oledo showering Museveni with praises was shared widely on social media attracting comments from different sections of people including doctors and politicians, a controversy that has continued on different media platforms.

For instance, Emmanuel Dombo the NRM Director for Information and Publicity said Dr. Oledo didn’t commit any offense warranting a vote of no confidence that members of the association moved.

However, doctors who have led the association before say Dr. Oledo should have apologized or resigned other than going on the defensive. Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, a former UMA secretary General who is also a member of the NRM told URN that going forward, they need to conduct proper vetting of individuals they entrust with leadership positions within the association.

Then, he says they will be able to put in office people who should be mature.

For now, Dr. Luswata says they are contemplating amending their association constitution to have a vetting committee to have everyone aspiring to be a leader checked if they have the right competencies to steer a professional association. 

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