Doctors in strike threat over pay

By George Kithuka

Last year doctors in public hospitals went on strike to press for better pay and equipment (FILE)

The health sector is facing a human resource crisis after doctors Monday threatened to withdraw their services over delayed pay.

The doctors under the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union are giving the government a one week ultimatum to pay up or they paralyze hospital operations.

They accuse the government of  taking their plight for granted for failing to offer any explanation regarding the delayed pay. However , it is reported that the doctor’s salary has been withheld over county devolution uncertainty.

The doctors’ union  has told doctors working in public hospitals to converge in Nairobi on Monday to seek direct audience with the relevant bodies and institutions on the hinted strike.

Addressing the press at a Nairobi hotel, Secretary General Sultani Matendechero blamed the national government for transferring the members’ benefits to the counties in an incompetent manner.

While stating his support for devolution, Matendechero 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.

It now remains to be seen whether the government and doctors will come to an agreement before the health officers down their tools.

The threats come barely a week after teachers resumed work following a protracted strike that has seen the government vow not to pay them the July salaries on the basis that they absconded duty.