Officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) North Rift branch have given a statement on the status of Public Health Care as it regards doctors’ welfare and working conditions in the North Rift Region.
In a statement issued in Eldoret, KMPDU North Rift Secretary Dr Kamonzi Mulei said that the Ministry of Health, the Council of Governors and KMPDU signed a tripartite agreement on the 9th of January 2023, to re-initiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) implementation committees and to fast-track the implementation of the CBA 2017-2021 in order to avert the perennial strikes that have marked the sector over the previous years.
“The 60 days’ timeline that was given has lapsed and only MTRH, Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Trans Nzoia Counties have called for meetings, the rest of the counties are waiting for doctors to go on strike so that they can intervene,” he said.
He raised concern over a burning shortage of doctors across all the counties, as the ratio in some counties is 1: 20,000 as compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of 1:1000 despite having so many qualified doctors unemployed.
“Doctors should be allowed to join trade unions of their choice as it is their rights,” noted Mulei.
He noted that 51 months’ arrears for doctors’ allowances working in the health services department amounting to over Sh 30 million in Moi university remain unpaid to date, yet the monies were approved and paid in other universities.
He decried the increased insecurity concerns in counties like Baringo, West -Pokot, Samburu and Turkana as there are doctors and health providers unable to reach their workstations due to growing insecurities.
Mulei further asked National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to pay for services offered and therefore should clear all the pending bills with various institutions and counties so that Kenyans can continue accessing affordable and timely services
By Judy Too and Elizabeth Wangari