Doctors in 6 counties threaten to go on strike
By Joshua Cheloti
Health Services in six counties are expected to be disrupted a week from now.
This follows a strike notice that has been issued by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU).
In a statement, KMPDU national Secretary General Dr Devji Atella said their members had resorted to an industrial action following delays in payment of their salaries.
The counties whose doctors are threatening to strike include Murang’a, Kisii, Embu, Meru, Garissa and Taita Taveta.
“Today we are putting them on warning and telling all these counties that in the next seven days they should not expect to see any doctors in those facilities if they have not released salaries made for doctors and health care workers,” Dr Atella said.
He noted that they had been left with no other option but a strike after efforts to seek consensus with the affected devolved units failed to bear any fruits.
KMPDU notes that the six counties have not reached out for any offer to address the salary delay issue.
“It has come to our attention that many counties have openly disregarded the payment of salaries to the doctors and healthcare workers and some go even up to two months. It is not a threat, it is a warning and doctors will be out of work if these salaries are not released immediately,” said the KMPDU Secretary General.
He insisted that like any other workers, doctors and health practitioners have a right to be paid their salaries on time.
“You cannot expect doctors and other healthcare workers to be at the hospital treating patients when they themselves are patients because they have not eaten due to no salaries,” noted Dr Atella.
The doctors union further expressed the need for health workers’ issues to be prioritized by the new administration, expected to be elected in the upcoming general election.
For the last about 10 years, several counties have had numerous health workers’ strikes, which has led to disruption of access to health services by the locals.