University of Nairobi medical students have boycotted classes in sympathy with striking doctors. The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has threatened to resume their strike over unpaid dues.
If pronouncements by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu are anything to go by, the Government comes across as the culprit in the whole strike saga.
There is dishonesty in the government agreeing to pay nurses a certain percentage of their demands then promptly reneging. There is dishonesty in the Health Cabinet secretary disowning the doctors' Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement 2013, only to rescind his claim a day later.
In all, there seems to be lack of trust and commitment in the negotiations even as ordinary Kenyans die in their homes and at locked hospital gates. The Government cannot continue to be impervious to this suffering almost two months later, yet claim to be giving its people the services they pay tax to get.
Medical services are not just an essential service, they are crucial to the nation’s development. An ailing work force is a guarantee for a non-performing economy.
Leaders must stop politicking and address the health crisis that threatens to put Kenya on the same pedestal with failed states like Somalia where there are hardly any Government services.