PATIENTS IN PAIN

Goodwill, dialogue and mediation will end health crisis

In Summary
  • Rather than issue strike restraining orders, the Judiciary can appoint arbitrators and mediators to bring the government and medical workers to a resolution.
  • A return to work formula should be achieved during this festive season. This is possible if each party considers the available offers and counteroffers.
Striking medics at the King Fahad hospital on Tuesday.
Striking medics at the King Fahad hospital on Tuesday.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

The current government has done extremely well in acknowledging the role of healthcare workers. This can be attributed to the number of professionals from the sector who have been awarded in recent state commendations.

However, there is a general public perception that this government is ignoring them. This assumption has been influenced not only by the healthcare workers’ strike but also by some political sentiments that the government is getting its priorities wrong.

But a fair analysis will reveal that this government is determined to address the healthcare workers’ welfare. For instance, during his address on the Covid-19 pandemic, the President in his wisdom approved frontline healthcare workers’ allowance and other measures in an effort to increase their morale.

Sadly, the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 Kenyans, including frontline healthcare workers. Other ailments are also claiming lives. The wellness of citizens has deteriorated since the beginning of the healthcare workers’ strike. Private health facilities have been overwhelmed by the high number of people seeking treatment.

Unfortunately, the poor cannot afford these services. Some are suffering in their homes as others are dying from preventable diseases due to lack of medical access.

It is against this background that philanthropists, humanitarians and other citizens of goodwill need to engage both the government and medical workers to resolve this stalemate. Rather than issue strike restraining orders, the Judiciary can appoint reputable arbitrators and mediators to bring both the government and medical workers into a resolution.

A return to work formula should be achieved during this festive season or before schools reopen. This is possible if each party considers the available offers and counteroffers.

A pandemic, like an enemy, is a threat to our safety and therefore soldiers in this field ought to sacrifice for our lives. To overcome this, it calls for personal as well as collective selfless effort by our front-line workers. Moreover, God the supreme provider will protect them from any harm as they serve humanity.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

(Isaiah 41:10)

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

(Psalm 127:1)

Communications expert