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Doctors in four counties threaten to go on strike

Over 400 doctors from four central Kenya counties have vowed to paralyse activities in public hospitals from Thursday over delayed salaries, deplorable state of the facilities and poor staffing.

The doctors also accused the government of failing to implement a return-to-work formula that they signed when the doctors called off the strike last month.

According to their Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) secretary Gor Goody speaking on Tuesday at Nyeri County Referral hospital, said the government and the county officials lack goodwill to address their grievances.

“We are giving them a two-day window to look into our salary issues because we can no longer afford our basic needs,” she said.

Dr Goody said they have notified Nyeri County executive of health Charles Githinji but he is yet to respond.

The counties to be affected include; Nyeri, Nyandarua, Murang’a and Kiambu.

NATIONWIDE STRIKE

“We are writing a letter to the Chairman of Council of Governors and if they will not respond to us we will have no choice but down our tools,” she said.

The doctors are demanding their pay for the three months they were on a nationwide strike.

“Some doctors are currently having issues with their landlords over rent issues because we have not been paid since January. No good reason has been advanced over the delay,” said Dr Goody.

She revealed that operations at the Nyeri County Referral hospital maternity and main theatre were almost skidding to a halt for failure of facilitation and personnel.

“At the main theatre we are only attending to minor injuries because there are no enough nurses at the hospital,” she said.

In the stitching room, there are no enough lights, some computers have failed and taps are running dry forcing the doctors to use water from buckets.

“Sometimes we receive patients and you have to bargain with them, which should not be the case in government hospitals. When we were demanding for the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement it was not for us but for the patients,” she said.

Efforts to reach Mr Githinji for comment were unfruitful.

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