|KMPDUSecretary General Dr Sultan Matendechero (centre) with other officials during a Press conference [Moses Omusula/Standard]|
By Allan Kisia
NAIROBI, KENYA: The public health system could be thrown into turmoil next week after doctors vowed to go on strike to press for their salaries reportedly held over devolution uncertainty.
The doctors' union on Monday asked Kenyans to prepare to do without the services of doctors in public hospitals next week over the pay row with the Government.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) said all doctors working in public hospitals will converge in Nairobi on Monday to seek direct audience with the relevant bodies and institutions.
KMPDU secretary general Sultani Matendechero asked Kenyans to make alternative arrangements in seeking treatment because “public hospitals shall be devoid of doctors and the services they offer.”
He noted that majority of far flung hospitals will not have doctors on Sunday as well as Tuesday because members will be traveling from and back to their respective work stations.
“We hope that our concerns shall be addressed with expediency so as to avoid prolonged closures at these facilities,” he stated.
Matendechero said members are yet to be paid salaries for the month of July and that there is no indication of when the payments shall be made.
“We have reliably established that this delay is due to efforts to hurriedly transfer personal emoluments and health services to the counties,” he claimed.
Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi, Matendechero added that the union has reached out to relevant authorities but no response has been forthcoming. He noted that doctors earn as early as 22nd of very month.
He said the Government’s rush to devolve health services and salaries and allowances of doctors was ill-advised.
“Counties are not yet functional but the Government is insisting on devolving health services now. We support devolution 100 per cent but it must be done in a manner that will not result in problems,” he stated.