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BBI not more vital than our lives, medics tell politicians

Health & Science - By Mercy Asamba | December 8th 2020 at 05:01:38 GMT +0300

KMPDU chairman Samuel Oroko at a past media conference. He has slammed politicians for downplaying the health sector crisis. [File, Standard]

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has slammed political leaders for focusing on none issues when the country’s health sector is on its knees.

While addressing the media on Tuesday, a day after losing yet another doctor to Covid-19, the union leaders led by KMPDU chairman Samuel Oroko hit out at some governors for telling health care workers to wait for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to sort out the mess in the sector when doctors are already dying.

“When all this is happening some governors are going to the media and saying health care workers should just relax, let us finish with BBI and we will talk to you,” he said.

He accused the governors of being insensitive at the time health care workers are suffering with their grievances landing on deaf ears. “Nobody is interested in what we are saying.”

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“People are busy collecting signatures and creating super spreader events and those people coming from those signature collection events be landing in the hospital to be treated by health care workers who are being mistreated by the government,” he said.

He said doctors were going through a lot ranging from poor pay, unpaid salaries to poor working conditions and deserved better from the country's leadership.

At the time of his death, unions say Dr Stephen Mogusu, had not been paid for five months.

His remarks come a day after Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said his county government had paid its workers, moments after the KMPDU announced the passing of Dr Mogusu.

“Sad to learn of the passing of Dr Stephen Mogusu, attached to Machakos by National Government’s UHC programme. Improper that his employer, the National Government, had not paid him for months. Doctors employed by my Government have no salary arrears, receive allowances and all have insurance cover,” Mutua said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga is among leaders who have been on record criticising healthcare workers for going on strike, saying they took an oath to protect lives and should not watch as Kenyans die of Covid-19.

"It's not only doctors who are dying... We are also in a hard position economically," he said, adding ... this is not the time for doctors to hold the government at ransom

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