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Exodus of doctors from public hospitals catastrophic

By Francis Atwoli | February 24th 2014

By Francis Atwoli

Kenya: The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Kenya has urged the Government to immediately intervene and engage the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union, (KMPDU) over the massive exodus of trained doctors from our public hospitals that has been reported across the country.

Whereas the World Health Organisation, (WHO) recommends a doctor for every 1000 people, Kenya with a population of over 40 million people boasts of hardly 3,300 doctors in our public health centres, and now, with reported increased resignation of doctors from our health facilities, this number is bound to drop further to an estimated 2000 by mid this year. This is according to Cotu’s latest research from its Economics and Research Department.

If this trend continues, it will prove catastrophic to the country’s health sector.

It is important that the Government reviews its position on addressing the terms and conditions of service for our medical doctors.

This would be done with a view to retaining them in Government employment because most Kenyans’ incomes would only allow them to seek treatment and medication in public hospitals, as the cost of seeking the same from private hospitals and individuals is beyond their means.

The KMPDU, jointly with Cotu (K), are willing and ready to engage the Government on the matter and ensure there’s a mechanism in place to retain the doctors in Government employment including negotiating possible and agreeable pay packages other than witnessing a situation where no single doctor would be available to attend to thousands of Kenyans that would require their services.

The writer is Secretary General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (K).

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