BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,DEC 8,2016-With the doctors strike having entered its fourth day Thursday,the gender and equality commission has asked the government to resolve the stalemate as a matter of urgency.
In a letter addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Chairperson Winfred Lichuma stated that it is the responsibility of the government not to compromise the quality of healthcare by turning a deaf ear to concerns raised by health professionals.
She further said that the government has a constitutional responsibility to ensure implementation of the right to health.
“While we remind doctors of their social contract, the Hippocratic Oath and the ethical concerns that the strike raises touching their professional conduct, we are very aware that they too have their right to fair pay and better working conditions,” she stated in a statement.
She indicated that the greatest accountability lies with the government.
“It is the responsibility of government not to compromise the quality of care by not turning a deaf ear to the legitimate concerns raised by the medical professionals,” she stated.
“It is the obligation of government to ensure both adequate resources both human and financial to ensure functioning health services,” she said.
Lichuma says both the National and County Governments have contributed to the situation as it is and that they have not done justice to guarantee Kenyans the right to health.
“The provision of the right to health means that hospital services, medicines and medical professional services meet the standards of being accessible, available, acceptable and of good quality,” she said.
She called on the government to take its greater responsibility to citizens and avoid further suffering and loss of life.
“In balancing the right to strike, the right of citizens to access quality health care and the right of medical professionals to better terms of conditions, we find that the greatest accountability and responsibility lies with the government,” she said.
She stated that the health care system now under the operation of both the National and County governments is not accountable to citizens.