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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,8TH DEC,2020-Kenyan doctors are now demanding that the Ministry of Health (MoH) caters for outstanding bills and compensate families of deceased medics.
Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda, the acting Secretary General for the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) said health care workers are exposed, sick and dying from coronavirus.
“I had tried all attempts to get the deceased doctor help since Wednesday. They had to fundraise Ksh.200,000 as a class for him to be admitted in ICU,” he said in reference to Dr. Stephen Mogusu who succumbed to COVID-19 complications on Monday.
“His death and that of 12 others..we demand MoH to take full responsibility outstanding bill and compensation of families,” Dr. Mwachonda added.
Speaking during a Press conference on Tuesday, the KMPDU official noted that they suspended the planned strike as an act of good will but are urging the government to address their issues in good faith.
He warned that the strike would continue as planned on December 21 if matters raised such as safety, health insurance and staffing needs are not resolved.
Dr. Mwachonda expressed support for the industrial action of 23,000 nurses who are demanding compensation for families of 26 of their colleagues who succumbed to COVID-19.
The nurses, who also describe the COVID-19 pandemic as an occupational hazard, want risks allowances and health cover before they can resume work.
On Tuesday, the doctors union also criticized politicians for making insensitive remarks against health workers who are trying to save the country from the impact of the pandemic.
“This nonsense of people dismissing issues raised by health care workers is insensitive…tulirigogwa na nani..it is extremely painful. When this is happening some governors go to media to say health care workers should relax it is time for BBI. It is extremely unfair,” lamented Dr. Samuel Oroko, the KMPDU Chairperson.
Dr. Claure Wangaru, who was the late Dr. Mogusu’s classmate, reiterated that doctors should have health insurance.
According to her, her colleagues are still raising funds to ensure that the deceased’s hospital bills are cleared and he is given a ‘decent burial’.