Nairobi health workers issue strike notice
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have announced that its members will go on strike on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, in response to the current healthcare crisis in the country.
In a letter addressed to the Kilimani Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), the union’s Secretary-General, Dr Davji Bhimji Atellah, said the health workers will commence with a procession from the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) at 10am.
The procession will head to the Ministry of Health (MoH) offices and thereafter head to the Council of Governors (COG) headquarters along Chiromo Road.
“This is to notify you that doctors (consultants, medical practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, registrars, interns, and medical students) in Kenya will be holding a peaceful procession on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 10:00am to deliver a petition on the state of Healthcare in Kenya,” KMPDU said in the statement.
“There are unprecedented shortages of doctors and healthcare workers amidst unemployment and underemployment crisis in both public and private hospitals,” the union further said.
Dr Atellah clarified that the letter served as a formal request to the National Police Service to provide security during the planned demonstration.
The impending strike comes at a time when many medical practitioners across the country are locked in disputes with county governments, citing poor remuneration and deteriorating working conditions as their primary concerns.
More than 200 medical practitioners in Nakuru have also issued a 21-day strike notice.
According to Dr Atellah, the Nakuru County Government, under the leadership of Governor Susan Kihika, had failed to adhere to agreed-upon salary agreements.
“We are witnessing doctors being demoted, some experiencing a 30% reduction in salaries, despite the Nakuru County Government’s commitment to employ them on permanent and pensionable terms,” Dr Atellah said.
About one month ago, medical professionals in Embu also threatened to go on strike, asserting that state-run hospitals were grappling with severe staff shortages. KMPDU has also accused the county of failing to provide adequate medical equipment to doctors.
“We refuse to continue seeking favors from County governments. It is high time we took action against Embu County’s disregard for doctors’ well-being,” Dr Atellah said.
“We cannot negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) or establish career progression guidelines and service schemes only for these agreements to collect dust in closets,” he added.