Uganda lost at least 58 doctors and nurses in the last 15 months, some to Covid-19.
According to Uganda Medical Association (UMA) which is the umbrella body for doctors in the country, show that 11 doctors of Ugandan origin died abroad including in the United States, the United Kingdom and India while others passed on in South Africa, Eswatini and Nigeria.
Among the dead are 19 consultants or senior consultants and UMA President Dr Richard Idro said last evening that it takes about two decades to train and rise to the top professional rank.
It takes five years of training and one year of internship for one to qualify as a medical officer in Uganda upon which an individual has to work for two years at a general hospital before undertaking a three-year Master’s degree to become a specialist medical officer.
Upon graduate studies, one has to again work for five or seven years to be eligible for appointment as a consultant and senior consultant, respectively, subject to availability of the senior rank slots.
The deaths of Ugandan health workers in the past year is almost double the numbers lost the year before, a scenario that Dr Idro described as scary.
In a separate interview, the Health Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said the number of health workers dying in the line of duty has increased due to coronavirus.
The PS said arrangements are underway to recruit replacements for some of the health workers who died to ensure that the services continue without affecting patients.