Quack doctors will have a difficult time operating in Uganda following permission granted by Parliament to make legislation aimed at establishing an umbrella body for medical professionals.
By Joyce Namutebi & Moses Mulondo
KAMPALA - Quack doctors will have a difficult time operating in Uganda following permission granted by Parliament to make legislation aimed at establishing an umbrella body for medical professionals in the country.
The House unanimously approved a motion by the Kinkiizi East MP, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, seeking leave of Parliament to introduce a private members’ Bill titled The Uganda Medical Society Bill, 2014.
He said currently, there is no law in place that brings together members of the medical profession. He stressed the need for better coordination of medical doctors to ensure provision of quality services.
Members of the medical profession watched the proceedings from the gallery as the motion was being debated.
The motion was seconded by Dr. Merdard Bitekyerezo (Mbarara municipality) and Dr. Jeremiah Twa-Twa (Iki- Iki).
“The proposed law will aid the promotion of medical and allied sciences, professional development and maintenance of a high standard of professional ethics through one united voice,” Baryomunsi said.
He said Uganda has over 4,000 medical doctors registered by the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, scattered all over the country and that sometimes it is difficult to trace where they are.
He also observed that the Uganda Medical Association is just a voluntary association with less than 200 members.
The problem of quack health workers in Uganda is not a myth and a number of them have been apprehended by the National Drug Authority.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi said there is no law in place that brings together members of the medical profession. PHOTO/Enock Kakande
According to the draft Bill, there shall be a body known as the Uganda Medical Society.
The gist, he said, is for the assembly of doctors to be created by law so that doctors who practise medicine in Uganda belong to it.
The society’s objectives, according to the draft Bill, include improving the standards of learning and practice of medicine in Uganda, promoting and maintaining a high standard of professional ethics among members of the profession and providing counseling services to members.
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, directed that the Bill be published. She also said the Ministry of Finance is supposed to give a certificate of financial implications not later than 30 days from Wednesday.
Bitekyerezo said: “We have a variety of quacks. They have stolen money from everybody.” He said they are people advertising themselves as the best doctors and hospitals charging exorbitantly for small things.
Twa-Twa said: “Our health service is full of problems and a number of people are dissatisfied. Doctors, he said, must adhere to ethics.
“But some of these things are not exercised. We need to provide a legal platform to enable doctors to provide peer support.”
Quack doctors to be hunted down