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Busia County doctors threaten to strike over poor working conditions

Doctors in Busia County are on the verge of another strike if the county’s leadership fails to address their longstanding grievances.

The medical practitioners, in a meeting with the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Saturday, expressed their dissatisfaction with the current situation.

The Secretary-General of KMPDU, Dr Davji Atellah, and his deputy, Dr. Dennis Miskellah, led the meeting, where the doctors highlighted several issues contributing to their dissatisfaction.

In a statement to newsrooms following the meeting, Dr. Atellah disclosed that the union’s legal team is actively challenging a court injunction that had compelled the doctors to end their recent go-slow.

The strike, according to Dr. Atellah, stems from concerns about the underemployment of doctors, lack of promotions, and inadequate equipment in county hospitals.

“Key discussions included the ongoing legal battle regarding the suspended industrial action on promotions. Our legal team is actively handling the case, addressing the injustices perpetuated by the county against doctors by refusing to promote them, address the severe shortage and employ them on fair terms,” noted Dr. Atellah.

The meeting also shed light on the poor working conditions in Busia County hospitals, where medical supplies and drugs are reportedly insufficient, putting patients at risk.

Dr. Atellah emphasized that if the county government does not take decisive action, the doctors may resume their industrial action soon.

“The meeting also shed light on the poor working conditions in the hospital. There are no medical supplies and drugs in hospitals, putting patients at risk. In addition, it was emphasized that we may resume our industrial action soon if the Busia County government remains belligerent.”

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has warned that more doctors in several counties will be joining the strike that is already ongoing in Vihiga county, in what the union terms as a failure by the county governments to provide quality and accessible healthcare services to their residents.

Speaking after a meeting with doctors in Vihiga, KMPDU SG Davji Atellah pointed out loopholes in the healthcare management system within the counties that have already received notices of doctors’ strike.

Among issues raised by KMDU includes; an acute shortage of doctors, breach of employment terms, delayed promotions, designation to wrong job groups as well as lack of quality equipment at health facilities.

Doctors in Vihiga have been on strike for 13 days now while the County administration has remained silent on the issue.