UNFAIR PRACTICES

Doctors threaten strike over 'harassment' by employers

Allege KNH sent home some 40 doctors who were working on contract at the facility

In Summary

• The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union accuses Kenyatta National Hospital of unfairly sacking some of their members amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

• KMPDU secretary general Dr Davji Atellah expressed displeasure over KNH’s decision to employ doctors on contract and disengaging them at will. 

KMPDU national treasurer Mercy Nabwire, secretary general Dr Davji Bhimji Atellah and national chairman Dr Abidan Mwachi at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Friday.
KMPDU national treasurer Mercy Nabwire, secretary general Dr Davji Bhimji Atellah and national chairman Dr Abidan Mwachi at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Friday.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Medical doctors have threatened to go on strike in three weeks to protests against disregard of court orders and harassment by county officials and public hospitals.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union accuses Kenyatta National Hospital of unfairly sacking some of their members amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

KMPDU secretary-general Dr Davji Atellah expressed displeasure over KNH’s decision to employ doctors on contract and disengaging them at will. He spoke during a press conference over the weekend in Kisumu county. 

“It is alarming that KNH decided to sack doctors during the Covid-19 pandemic period without following the requisite procedure,” Dr Davji said. KNH allegedly sent home some 40 doctors who were working on contract at the facility.

The union has also registered concerns following frustrations from various county governments that have hampered operations at public hospitals.  

Dr Aby Mwachi, the national chairman of KMPDU, said that Laikipia, Kirinyaga and Kitui counties are the most hostile areas for medical practitioners.

Dr Mwachi said that these counties have abandoned their roles in the healthcare sector.

Other complaints include the withdrawal of doctors’ risks allowances and inadequate provision of personal protective equipment to handle Covid-19 cases.

“We are going to involve Kenyans and call for peaceful demonstrations every Wednesday if our issues are not resolved,” Dr Mwachi said.

The KMPDU leadership was in Kisumu to meet with the Council of Governors Health Committee chairman Anyang' Nyong’o. The committee chair is the Kisumu governor. 

The parties sought to deliberate on how to enhance industrial harmony in the health sector and the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors and KMPDU to ensure proper health service delivery to Kenyans.