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Doctors Issue CS Mutahi Kagwe With Ultimatum

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has dismissed Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s offer on National Hospital Insurance Fund for healthcare workers who contract Covid-19.

KMPDU secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda said that the health cover that was unveiled excluded doctors working in county governments, those working in parastatals and doctors working in universities.

“We have lost a good number of doctors who teach undergraduate and post-graduates students. These doctors have been excluded from this cover,” Mwachonda stated.

Mwachonda vowed that the 21-day strike notice issued on November 15, would not be suspended until the government addressed their needs.

Nairobi doctors strike“If these doctors are not covered then this strike will kick off (and will go on) until the time that they will be covered,” he added.

The union said that 188 doctors had been employed by the ministry on a six-month contract but were yet to be paid.

Further, Mwachonda stated that they did not have medical covers or any medical covers yet they were working in isolation and treatment centres.

The union further urged the ministry to deploy at least 50 doctors in every country to curb the shortage of health workers across the country.

Since the pandemic struck in March, 12 doctors, 18 nurses and seven clinical officers, have passed on while in the line of duty.

Coronavirus-in-KenyaThe union has decried neglect by the government and have requested an audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta to deliberate on the way forward regarding the welfare of frontline healthcare workers.

Mwachomba has since remained firm that doctors are contracting the virus while in line of duty and not in bars as insinuated by the CS.

“Let me put this clear and to the Health Cabinet Secretary… this narrative that doctors are getting COVID-19 out of hospital must stop. Doctors spend up to 12 and 19 hours in hospitals serving Kenyans. So you cannot come and insult us and tell us that doctors are getting COVID-19 in bars. We will not take it lightly,” he stated.