By Felix Olick
Doctors at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital made good their threat and downed their tools following failure by the hospitals management to allow them join doctors union.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) said that they had paralysed operations in all the eight satellite clinics and vowed to continue until the management signs the recognition agreement.
Speaking to the press at Ufungamano house in Nairobi on Saturday, KMPDU officials threatened to mobilise their members in other private hospitals to join the strike if the management remained adamant.
The officials claimed that there are a group of private hospitals working together to frustrate their employees.
“We shall ask our members from other private hospitals to give us support. There is a group of private hospitals working together and is the cause of this mess,” claimed KMPDU Secretary General Were Onyino.
The officials accused the hospital management of issuing threats to the striking staff but insisted they would not be cowed.
KMPDU Chairman Victor Ngani said they have been engaging the hospital for over six months now to recognize the union in vain.
He cited a case where a female doctor at the hospital who was employed on permanent terms had her contract changed to temporary basis when she became pregnant.
“We are not aware that being pregnant is a crime in this country. The discrimination of one of our doctors cannot be allowed. Next week we are going to court over this matter,” maintained KMPDU Treasurer Wambui Waithaka.
But speaking separately at the Hospitals Headquarters in Muthaiga, Head of Clinical Services, Thomas Ngwire dismissed claims that operations at the facility had been paralysed.
He maintained that 60 percent of the doctors had reported on duty and insisted that the industrial action was illegal.