Doctors Strike Kenya

This article was first submitted to misshopeshi.com then to THEODYSSEYONLINE.COM
28th February 2017 at 1425hrs. I’ve just finished watching an interesting play on a local TV station. Not to mention, this is indubitably a sign from above since I’ve been trying to remember this story for the past 3 weeks to no avail. Until today. My hope in writing this article is that the judges involved will read this and root for our lecturers so that school resumes ASAP

 

An undergrad student in a dabbing nation

The play that I’ve just watched is based on a story that I read in high school during a literature class. Arrested Development by Sandisile Tsuma. Got me into thinking about the current situation in our country. How as undergraduate students in public universities, most of us are just frustrated. Helpless even. (Moreover, as a medical student I feel like our stress is more since we’re standing with our fellow docs for implementation of the CBA)

 As a student, you don’t know whether to keep on reading your syllabus, of which you don’t know how long the strike may take so you may end up forgetting most of what you’ve read. (or maybe this is just an excuse for the lazy students) Then again, you don’t know whether to look for a job or go on safari to Greece. And this is also kinda dangerous coz the strike might end tomorrow and your trip is cut short. Bummer!

 Frankly speaking, its been 6 weeks since I attended my last lecture. 6 weeks of lots of television. Well, atleast I’ve become a better chef! 

 

The doctors’ strike should end already

Courage. That’s what has been shown by my fellow doctors, even though I’m yet to get there, and the way things are going, it seems like its gonna take a while longer. The fact that a doctors’ strike can last for more than 2 months, speaks volumes about what the government thinks about our health care, the priorities of the government and those before it.

What do the doctors want? According to a local news report,

  • Medical staff want a deal signed between the Kenya Medical Practitioners’ Union and the Kenya government in 2013 to be  implemented

  • The agreement included a pay rise for doctors and other provisions to review working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions

  • The doctors’ union also says it wants more medics hired to reduce the doctor-patient ratio, currently one doctor for more than 16,000 Kenyans

  • Seven union officials spent a few days in jail last month for refusing to comply with a court order to negotiate. A judge has called on all parties to find a resolution within days.

Most critics have asked the questions: How reasonable are the doctor’s demands? Are they really or realistically implementable without creating even more teething problems? Sth to ponder on.

I support the CBA

 If you fall sick now, you should have access to health care, whether you have money in your pocket or not. Doctors are tired of running around from hospital to hospital to private clinics, just to barely afford the services they themselves provide and to make ends meet. They want to concentrate on their jobs without worrying about their kids being sent home for lack of fees, they want to focus on you as a patient and provide the best possible care they can for you, and not worry about rent and bills.

The doctors strike, is an inevitable symptom of a problem that has been procrastinated on far too long. The 300% payrise is just but a small part of the CBA the doctors are rightfully agitating for. Other components of the CBA also serve to improve the health care system and therefore reduce the never ending crisis. It shall benefit wananchi if it is implemented. The Achieng and Fatuma.

Ninaomba serikali

“Kenyan union doctors go to jail” made it to Aljazeera.com , not a thing to be proud of really.

Serikali, Swahili word meaning “government”

The government is the people who signed the CBA in 2013 but have since not executed the promises. You may say: mistake to sign the CBA, considering that health care is now a devolved function which means the negotiations should be between counties and health care workers. But fact remains, CBA was signed and a promise is a debt.

I never thought in my life I would end up saying the following words ‘ninaomba serikali”. I always ridiculed anyone who used such words and condemned them claiming that, in this country; its every man for himself. Who is the government anyway? But now I have no choice but “kuomba serikali” please help end the strike.

 

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