The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Sunday issued a warning informing Kenyans and health industry stakeholders of a looming nationwide strike over poor working conditions.
In a statement, KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah warned that medics from all countries will join their colleagues in Vihiga who have already downed their tools for more than 10 days, triggered by what the health practitioners described as leadership and governance failures.
According to Atellah, the impending strike has been precipitated by the government's failure to honour work contracts and refusal to address systemic problems in the health sector.
KMPDU's statement was issued after union leaders met with doctors in Vihiga after which they described the working conditions in the devolved unit as alarming.
Following the meeting, the leaders called on County Governments to do more to improve working conditions for medics.
''Vihiga County faces an alarming shortage of doctors, compounded by the blatant refusal to recognize Medical Specialists, resulting in mass resignations. Furthermore, doctors have been denied promotions in contravention of the CBA 2017 and Schemes of Service,'' Atellah remarked in his statement.
''We stand united in the pursuit of a fair and just healthcare system. The voice of Vihiga Doctors will not be silenced until these systemic issues are addressed.''
Atellah stated that various notices had been issued by doctors working in different counties expressing the intention to join their colleagues in Vihiga in staging a strike.
Most of the doctors' complaints include; poor health systems, shortage of doctors, derisory employment terms, delays in promotions, categorisation in wrong job groups, and substandard health facilities.
Nonetheless, the SG further stated that the union had organised a meeting with Vihiga Governor Wilber Otichillo on December 11 where they expect to iron out the issues.
''A unanimous decision emerged: our stance must be indomitable. A crucial meeting with the Vihiga Governor is set for December 11, 2023, where we aim for immediate solutions to the issues raised in the strike notice,'' he further stated.
Busia Health workers also downed their tools in July after issuing a 14-day notice.
The medics, however, later called off the strike on July 17 after Busia County committed to addressing their grievances
Among the demands listed by the medics included; fair remuneration of staff, promotions, raising of health standards, and provision of more medical supplies.