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Fire us at your own risk, doctors say


KMPDU National Chairman Abi Mwachi. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Health workers’ unions have advised the government against sacking their members who are on strike after it emerged that some seventeen (17) counties have started issuing them with letters of dismissal.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) National Chairman Abidan Mwachi, and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Secretary-General George Gibore spoke on Friday, April 26 on Spice FM. 

The medics are accusing the government of resorting to threats and intimidation while side-stepping the ‘real issues’, including reinstatement of the contested Sh206,000 intern stipend.

“I want to congratulate the doctors who have been sacked. This shows that you have been in the fight. I have been sacked eight times before and it’s nothing strange. This government thinks that intimidation usually does work,” said Mwachi.

KUCO Sec-Gen Gibore on the other hand, averred that counties stand to lose colossal amounts of taxpayer funds if the sacked doctors are reinstated by the courts and are compensated for damages caused.

According to Gibore, such a drastic move “is not easy” given the constitutional safeguards already in place.

“I am a good example. Kidero fired me for advocating for better terms in Nairobi, and I stayed out for three years. I was reinstated and they paid me for all those damages. Is that a good thing to do?” he posed.

KMPDU’s Mwachi insists that there is ‘no end in sight soon’ on the ongoing industrial action, adding that the end will justify the means and that doctors are resolute that their employer must put pen to paper on their demands.

KMPDU Deputy Secretary-General Dr Dennis Miskellah is among those axed. The trained obstetrician and gynecologist has vowed to continue his agitation.

He on Thursday wrote; “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We shall never relent.”

The doctor’s union is expected to hold its weekly street demonstrations on Tuesday next week.

Medics practising in private hospitals will likely join the mass action as early as next week, worsening an already dire situation.

Earlier in the week, doctors rubbished the proposed national internship policy terming it illegal, ill-advised, and ill-timed.

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