, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 29 – Doctors are now threatening to boycott work from Monday next week if the government fails to release their July salary.
Through their umbrella body Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), the medics said that they have not been given sufficient reason why their salary had been delayed.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Secretary General Sultani Matendechero revealed that the union has since established that the delay is due to efforts to hurriedly transfer benefits due to members to the counties.
“We are advising all our members from all over the country to join in the team that shall be seeking clear answers as to what is going on as well as seek immediate payment from our employer for work done,” he said.
“As a result, no services shall be available in all public hospitals on this day. This shall be the case in a majority of hospitals.”
While stating their support for devolution, Matendechero further pointed out that transition to the counties should be done in an organized manner.
“We are fully aware that the services we offers are essential and that all efforts must be made to ensure they are not disrupted. So far, we have kept our end of the bargain. In spite of our efforts, to reach out to the various relevant bodies and institutions, no useful response has been forthcoming,” he stated.
He said that the Union took issue with the fact that they had worked and there was no sign that they will be paid any time soon.
“The doctors’ union is deeply concerned about the on-going confusion that has resulted in non-payment of salaries to our members for work done during the Month of July. It shall be noted that thus far, there is no indication of when these payments shall be made,” he stated.
He pointed out that from Monday next week; all doctors will travel to Nairobi to seek answers as to why they were not being paid.
“In lieu of this unresponsiveness, we shall endeavour to get direct audience from these relevant bodies and institutions on Monday the 5th of August 2013. We are advising all our members from all over the country to join in the team that shall be seeking clear answers as to what is going on as well as seek immediate payment from our employer for work done,” he said.
He stated that no doctors in public hospitals will be working during that period.
“As a result, no services shall be available in all public hospitals on this day. This shall be the case in a majority of the far flung hospitals on Sunday the 4th of August as well as Tuesday the 6th because most members shall be travelling from and back to their stations respectively,” he indicated.
“They have insisted that they are going to destroy healthcare in this country. You cannot decide that you are a-know-it-all and you will just go ahead and devolve healthcare without involving stakeholders and you will do it anywhere. Even if people die you do not mind or do not care,” he said.
He urged members of the public to make alternative arrangements to reduce any suffering of patients as a result of the doctors’ actions.
“We would therefore like to inform the general public to make alternative arrangements on seeking for treatment on these said dates since our public hospitals shall remain devoid of doctors and services they offer. We are hopeful that our concerns shall be addressed with expediency so as to avoid prolonged closures at these facilities,” he stated.