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KMPDU puts county on notice over doctors’ strike

The Kenya Medical Pharmacists, Practitioners and Dentists union (KMPDU) has issued a strike notice to the Kajiado County government stating that the doctors would go on strike in two weeks’ time if their conditions were not met.

Speaking in Kitengela after a meeting with the doctors who sought anonymity due to fear of victimization by the county, KMPDU South Rift Branch Secretary Dr. Omondi Steven said that they have been writing letters to the county citing various areas they needed to be worked on in regard to the doctors but no action has been taken by the county so far.

“Among the many complaints we have is that Kajiado has very few doctors but no input is being put in by the county to bridge the gap.  Kitengela and Ngong have only four doctors each while Rongai has three. The doctors are forced to work both night and day shifts and haven’t taken their leave for two years now. We have been writing letters to them but no action has been taken so far,” said Dr. Omondi.

Dr. Omondi adds that there has been issues with promotions and re­-­designations in the county where doctors have been serving for a period of 5-10 years without being promoted to another job group. There are also specialist doctors who are still working at the entry level.

“It is also unfortunate that there are those who have graduated recently but have been promoted illegally due to nepotism and their political affiliation. This cannot continue as we signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the county and must be adhered to. We also have doctors who went for further studies and even though they have advanced their skills, they are still at the same job group with meagre pay and that is why we are issuing a strike notice in the next two weeks if these issues are not sorted,” said Dr. Omondi.

While stating that Kajiado County is a hostile county in terms of doctor recruitment, the Branch Secretary also declared a labour dispute with the county government through the Labour Office.

“Our doctors are suffering silently in the county, sometimes leading to depression. They are not allowed to air their grievances and once one complains about the poor state of affairs, they are transferred to remote hospitals in hardship areas,” said Dr. Omondi.

By Diana Meneto and Sammy Rayiani

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