OPEN LETTER

Dear governors, prioritize peoples’ health as part of your populist projects

Kenyans will support you and praise you if you do this

In Summary

• When you fail to pay salaries and buy drugs all the while pointing fingers at doctors, it is inhuman.

• Instead implement CBA and have structured engagement.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during his impromptu visit to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital on September 11, 2022. He found patients sharing beds and there were no drugs
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during his impromptu visit to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital on September 11, 2022. He found patients sharing beds and there were no drugs
Image: JULIUS OTIENO

Dear highly esteemed Hon Governors,

We already are witnessing newly elected governors at work. For some, the first stop is hospitals. As the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union, we wish to reiterate we are hopeful you will engage professionally and objectively in good faith for industrial harmony and better health service to our people.

That you will obtain reports that you can act on. Where there is none, we as KMPDU strongly advise that you will appoint task forces where doctors and other health workers are represented. This includes other sectors. That you involve professionals in county decision organs. For health sector you cannot run it without our involvement. That as you put up teams you get the best on your team's to achieve better service, deliver on your mandates and campaign promises.

We do see head counts to weed out ghost workers, which is commendable. But we ask you to structure this to include a proper audit and a plan to fill identified gaps, especially in health, which we a know has acutely staff shortages.   We know some governors and their cronies replace these with their own ghost workers and leave ballooned wage bills. We hope you will not be part of this.

We are watching. We ask you to make those county hospitals your first point of call when you fall ill and not run for covers or to the city. Make healthcare work in your counties by hiring & training doctors remit NHIF and other statutory deductions.

Threats to health workers are outdated. Equip and facilitate service delivery by appropriate funding. Pay doctors and healthcare workers on time. When your terms come to an end remember you may wish you did better. Helicopters, airstrips and roads will not treat you.

We observe the trend: Governors visit health centres and hospitals, parade health workers, decry poor state, intimidate medics and all sorts of PR stunts. We will not stop you, but while at it, make your contributions to the healthcare sector in your counties. Prioritize peoples’ health as part of your populist projects.

Erecting expensive bill boards, praising yourselves on TV and newspaper adverts, setting up unnecessary offices, buying new furniture and cars may seem stylish. But know Kenyans loathe these because as you do it, it's at the expense of their health.

When you fail to pay salaries and buy drugs all the while pointing fingers at doctors, it is inhuman.

Instead implement CBA and have structured engagement.

ACTION!!! Offer better leadership and better governance than this.

Kenyans will support you and praise you if you do this.

We wish you well in your tenures.

Dr Davji Bhimji Atellah

Secretary general, KMPDU

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star