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Doctors’ strike; we all lose!

By Yvonne Okwara | December 12th 2016

The doctors’ strike is now in its 7th day with no signs of compromise on either side. The stalemate has really lasted three years.

The big question is: why has it taken this long? One would have expected a quicker response to this situation, after all, that is the purpose of a 21- day strike notice. To allow people to come to the negotiating table and find a solution.

Waiting until the eleventh hour, literally, to call the unions to the table, does not inspire good faith. Especially when the lives of human beings are at stake.

The finger points to corruption once again, lest we forget, the Sh 5 billion scandal at Afya House only served to embolden the doctors in their quest for better pay.

The logic was simple: if there is enough to steal, then surely there must be enough to pay the men and women who save lives every day! The government’s excuse therefore can no longer be that it does not have the money to pay the doctors. 

On the other hand, it would be remiss of me not to call out the doctors too. Engaging in a contest of who owes the other more would be a losing battle.

It is true, Kenyans owe a lot to doctors, after all they save our lives from time to time, and generally keep our health in check all year round. But that is only one side of the story.

In any case, their battle for better pay can only be meaningful if they keep the public on their side as they honestly seek better pay. Any suggestions of arrogance can only backfire.

So, the call is for both sides to return to the negotiating table and break this stalemate. For if things continue like this, there will be no winners – we all lose!

That’s my take!


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