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Home / Health & Science

Medics vow to stay away until issues are handled

Health & ScienceBy Edwin Nyarangi And Eric Abuga | Tue,Dec 22 2020 00:00:00 UTC | 3 min read

 KMPDU secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda addresses the press at Nyakoe Hotel in Kisii County on 21/12/2020. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

Doctors yesterday vowed not to return to work until the Government addresses their demands.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) declared a nationwide strike for 7,200 doctors starting at midnight on Sunday joining clinical officers and nurses in the industrial action.

Yesterday, KMPDU Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda said it has been eight months of engagement in the context of Covid-19 and that they were tired seeing their colleagues losing their lives with little care from the Government.

Addressing the media in Kisii, Mwachonda said it was sad that doctors who are front line workers in the fight against Covid-19 did not have Group Life and Accident Cover to protect them in case they are infected with Covid-19.

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“Doctors have said that they are not going to endanger their lives anymore. We are saying no to suicide mission. We have one doctor serving 10,000 Kenyans. The government needs to take our demands seriously, since we are ready to serve Kenyans,” said Mwachonda.

 KMPDU officials from left Treasurer Daisy Kori, Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda, Chairman Samwel Oroko and Nyanza Chapter Secretary Kevin Osuri at Nyakoe Hotel in Kisii on 21/12/2020. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

He said all health sector unions had in 2013 protested the haphazard transfer of medical services to the counties and that the only solution was the creation of a constitutional Medical Service Commission to take care of their welfare.

Mwachonda said no amount of intimidation or threats will make them change their mind.

He thanked the Parliamentary Health Committee for ‘trying’ to mediate in the matter and accused some senior government officials for politicising health. He said doctors could not wait to die as they watch with their government caring less.

“Even as we launch the nationwide doctors strike, KMPDU remain open for negotiation with the government. We need a comprehensive medical cover for doctors since just like other medical staff,” Dr Mwachonda.

KMPDU chairman Oroko Obegi accused some senior government officials for misadvising President Kenyatta on the issue of doctors since he had shown he cared for the health of Kenyans by launching Universal Health Care cover.

Oroko said KMPDU was not ready to engage in name calling like some of the people who are supposed to solve their problems.

KMPDU treasurer Daisy Korir said the current strike is not about their salaries, but their lives and that it was 36 days since they issued a strike notice.

At Dr Mogusu’s funeral, the family strictly adhered to Covid-19 measures with each speaker given less than two minutes to address mourners. 

The late Mogusu sister Doreen said: “No suffering, sickness, yes not even pain, those who did good, eternal life they will gain.”

Mwachonda said doctors will not be happy to attend to another colleague’s funeral. “We are losing young doctors who have struggled to pay their school fees.”

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