Union warns over dwindling number of doctors in public service

May 23, 2015 1:05 pm
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KMPDU Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga says there are only 2,200 doctors at the moment serving in the public sector/MARGARET WAHITO
KMPDU Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga says there are only 2,200 doctors at the moment serving in the public sector/MARGARET WAHITO
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Over 2000 doctors have quit serving in the public hospitals since the health sector was devolved to the counties in 2013.

This is according to Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) leaders who attribute this to poor management of the doctors by the county government including low salaries, long working hours and lack of training.

KMPDU Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga says there are only 2,200 doctors at the moment serving in the public sector.

“Two thousand doctors have left public service since devolution. About 1,800 of them resigned in just about one year. In 2011 the country had about 3,700, in public service and our president acknowledges this but we cannot talk about a problem without looking for a remedy,” Oluga said in a media briefing on Saturday.

He says the country has over 8,000 doctors in the country but the majority are working private hospitals or engaged in other different careers.

“We need to pay what the doctors what they deserve otherwise they will keep leaving the public sector,” Oluga said adding that a qualified doctor is supposed to receive a minimum salary of Sh350,000 every month.

The doctors now want the government to honour and implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in June 2013 which addresses the some of the crucial challenges.

READ: Doctors threaten national strike in 5 days

The National Chairman Oroko Samuel now says the two year CBA will be expiring next month and they will have consultations with their members on the next course of action.

“We are saying, it is the government of Kenya which signed, and doctors are still working for the government of Kenya. Therefore it is the responsibility of the same government that signed to implement that CBA,” Oroko told journalists.

Four major issues which were supposed to be addressed by the CBA were on pay increase, set of working hours, and training of doctors as well issues of promotions. But they lament that “ to this date the document is gathering dust in different shelves.”

Kenyans will now await the next course of action by the doctors if the government fails to honour to agreement come June 27.

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