The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), South Rift Branch, has issued a 30-day strike notice for health workers in Nakuru County, over what they are terming as negligence and strained resources amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Secretary-General Davji Atellah, health workers’ have been neglected for so long and they are also facing a shortage of workers due to the failure of the county government to employ enough health workers, which has left the available ones strained.
Dr. Atellah, further stated that some health workers have been affected by Covid-19, which has further reduced the number of those available for duty.
For the last two years, the county has only employed 24 doctors and to date, at least 15 have left the service due to frustrations by the county,” he said.
He further stated that the welfare of the doctors is not being catered, saying they had been employed on a contract basis, with unfavorable terms.
“These doctors’ employment terms don’t include medical cover and they feel badly exposed, especially with the pandemic. In case they fall sick, they will have to pay from their own pockets, which is very dangerous,” said Dr. Atellah.
“Their welfare is not being catered for and our efforts to [negotiate] with the previous and current county governments have borne no fruits,” he said.
The county Health executive, Kariuki Gichuki, however, dismissed the allegations by KMPDU, saying the region had 205 doctors and that 185 were on permanent employment terms.
Dr Gachuki said only 20 doctors were working on contract since they were recently employed and that four of them were sent to the county by the national government.