The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has insisted the health care workers strike on 7th December is still on. Speaking to the press, KMPDU officials led by acting secretary general Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda and chairman Dr. Samuel Oroko said their decision is irreversible and faulted the government for failing to address their grievances. “It is painful that health care workers have been speaking and shouting themselves hoarse about changes that need to be done,” said Oroko. He said as Kenyans append their signatures to the BBI referendum, they should be mindful of what matters most, politics or health, adding that leaders have bought ventilators for themselves and turned their bedrooms into makeshift ICUs. “Health workers took an oath to serve not to suffer, we can’t continue to carry the burden of the government this long for a government that doesn’t care.”
He said effective 7th December all hospitals will remain closed and health care workers have been mobilized to ensure they don’t turn up, “Patients in hospitals I want to tell you, you are on your own, the good government doesn’t care for you anymore.” He pointed out that health workers are still contracting Covid-19 in hospitals due to lack of PPEs, a sentiment that was supported by Dr. Mwachonda, who dispelled the idea that doctors are not being sincere. “31 health care workers have died and the medical bills have been paid by us through fundraising. There are no PPEs on the ground, KEMSA has them but not on the ground,” said Mwachonda, “Our lives will not be subjected to ping pong games.”
KMPDU issued a strike notice, set to expire on December 6th. Issues they want addressed include provision of medical cover by NHIF for all doctors, employment of at least 2,000 doctors on permanent and pensionable terms, enhancement of the risk allowance, provision of adequate and standard personal protective equipment, conversion of all contractual employment terms to permanent and pensionable among others.