THE 109 medical interns stationed at the various state hospitals are demanding that they be offered medical aid, fixed overtime for calls and weekend, a housing allowance and a transport allowance.
In a letter addressed to Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, the ministry’s Executive Director, Ben Nangombe, the Head of Human Resources Management and the Heads of Departments at the four Teaching Hospitals, the medical interns said there is no form of protection in terms of medical aid coverage.
According to the letter, the pandemic has brought along tedious amount of work for all healthcare professionals in addition to their existing workload.
“Extensive discussions were held with the Human Resource Department at the Ministry of Health and Social Services all in attempt to shed some light on the status-quo with regards to the current internship policy. Medical doctors are deemed Frontline workers during this pandemic, yet there is no form of protection in terms of medical aid coverage. The pandemic has brought along tedious amount of work for all healthcare professionals in addition to the existing workload. Health professionals, especially medical interns work tirelessly around the clock in an attempt to serve and treat both patients infected with the deadly Covid-19 virus and also patients requiring medical attention for other conditions, ” the letter reads.
The interns also contend that working for extended periods of time is exhausting not only physically, but emotionally, psychologically and spiritually too, especially during these trying times.
“Furthermore, the ongoing issue with the of lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) continuously puts us at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and other infectious conditions,” the aggrieved interns said.