After nearly a year of delay marked with uncertainties and sometimes violent protests over delay in deployment by the government across the country, the Ministry of Health has finally deployed 1,901 medical interns. Lacor Hospital has received 57 of those, almost double the usual number the hospital is accustomed to. Nevertheless, the hospital badly needed them to ease the pressure on our medical officers and quicken service delivery.
Joyful Dr Emintone Odong, our Medical Director welcomed these young cadres to Lacor, some of whom are crossing the Nile for the first time to be in northern Uganda. “Count yourself very lucky to be here because Lacor is one of the best,” he said, adding that “we conduct more than 6000 major surgeries, 9000 deliveries, so you can see for yourself whether you’ll have work to do or not” to the amusement of his audience.
The group of medical interns that arrived at Lacor consists of intern doctors, nurses, dental surgeons, midwives and pharmacists. A one-year placement is required by the government for them to be able to get permanent practicing licenses. Interns are quite essential in the country due to the limited number of medical workers.
During their induction, the Institutional Director, Dr Martin Ogwang told the interns to expect the best from Lacor Hospital as the hospital also expects the best from them and urged them to put the patients at the front.
“Here, we treat poor patients mostly because the rich have options. I don’t expect you to run away from patients. Some, when they see a patient with severe road traffic injury, they run away. You must love your profession,” Dr Martin said.
The interns are expecting to receive one million shillings monthly from the government to facilitate accommodation and feeding, but Lacor will be offering free accommodation and feeding at a small fee from the interns. This, according to Dr Odong, will enable them do their work without interruption. He assured them of the quality at Lacor and cautioned them against unbecoming behaviours.
“When the other interns begin to strike, you’ll sympathise with them but you’ll not join them. We have never had any strikes here and this is because we try our best to solve our problems in the best way possible,” Dr Odong said.
Other speakers during the induction were Dr Kansiime Jackson, the Deputy Medical Director Clinical Services, Dr Emmanuel Ochola, the Deputy Institution Director, Sr Rose Grace Ayoo, the Prinicpal Nursing Officer, Dr Venice Omona, Dr Okidi, among others.
Makerere University sent us the most at 17, followed by Kampala International University at 11, Busitema University 6, Mbarara University of Science & Technology and Gulu University sent 5 each, Clarke and Uganda Matyrs University 3 each, Islamic University in Uganda 2, while Uganda Christian University, Muni, Kabale, Aga-Khan and Lira universities all sent one.
The interns were assured that they’ll have a wonderful time at Lacor and that a very rewarding career awaits.