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Address health workers grievances to avert strike

By Editorial | November 16th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Our healthcare system risks being plunged into a crisis. This is after doctors and clinicians separately issued strike notices. Both have listed grievances they want addressed immediately, failure to which they will paralyse operations in hospitals. Strikes by doctors and clinical officers are eventualities we can ill afford, especially now that our healthcare system is overrun by Covid-19 and other patients.

Clinicians have issued a seven-day strike notice while doctors have given a 21-day notice. Both cadres of health workers complain of poor working conditions and lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) against Covid-19. They want the government to hire additional doctors and clinical officers to improve delivery of healthcare.

Besides, the clinicians and doctors demand to be given medical cover and are also rooting for the establishment of a Health Services Commission. These are not entirely new demands, but the government has been slow in responding to them. The partial devolution of health services has experienced a lot of challenges. Strikes by nurses, clinical officers and doctors have become the norm, since medical workers believe county governments cannot adequately take care of their welfare.

This is not the first time healthcare workers are complaining of lack of protective gear, which exposes them to Covid-19. The deaths of at least five doctors in the last few days due to Covid-19 vindicates the doctors. The least the government can do is provide the requisite medical stores to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Failure to adequately equip doctors, clinical officers and nurses can only have one outcome; losing the fight against a resurgent Covid-19.

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