The Ministry of Health of Uganda is concerned that many vacant positions for Medical Officers
exist at the Health Sub-Districts yet at least 150 doctors graduate from Uganda’s two medical
schools each year who are potentially available to fill these positions. This study carried out by the
African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) in August 2009, tracks six
cohorts of doctors graduating in 2005, 2006, and 2007 from these two medical schools. There were
425 graduates excluding non-Ugandans and 358 respondents. This study establishes the location of
these doctors, their current employment, recruitment experiences, and views on working in the
Health Sub-Districts. Data was collected using a questionnaire via face to face or telephone
interviews, email, and Facebook correspondence. Results show that 92% of respondents are in
Uganda. 54% of those are in Kampala while the rest are distributed across the country; the lowest
number in Northern Uganda. Only 23% work at the Districts and Sub-Districts while 44% work
with the better paying Non-governmental and private organizations primarily in the cities. The
biggest reported problems with recruitment were the difficult, lengthy process, lack of transparency, and limited job choices.
The main deterrents to working in Districts are low salaries, inadequate
facilities/resources, political interference from district officials, and heavy workload.

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