Medics threaten to down tools if demands unmet

, Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union Secretary(KMPDU) General Davji Atellah during an interview at Spice FM. [Standard]

Healthcare workers across the country are planning to go on a nationwide strike in December if the government fails to honour their demands.

Speaking on Spice FM on Wednesday, October 4, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Davji Atellah said their patience with the government has run out.

“When we gave a strike notice last year, everybody told us we needed to give the government time. We have been giving them time to resolve these matters but if by November it won’t be resolved, then we will go on a nationwide strike,” said Atellah.

According to the KMPDU SG, the healthcare sector is slowly crippling and the government is doing nothing about it.

He says most hospitals have inadequate workers and medical supplies, making it hard for healthcare workers to offer any services to Kenyans.

Further, those who still offer services are yet to be paid despite the government’s promises of remitting their salaries.

Atellah says the upcoming strike will not only address healthcare workers' issues but also patients who deserve quality healthcare services.

“Healthcare cannot be free and the government is not investing in healthcare. We see many projects and plans initiated but they remain to be plans as there are no funds to support them. A good example is Universal Healthcare. The government has a plan but there is no budget for it,” he said.

Last week, more than one hundred doctors in Nakuru County went on strike, complaining about working in poor conditions, among other issues.