KMPDU boss Davji Atellah vows to continue strike as patients’ death hits 500 mark

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 12 Apr, 2024 09:30 | 2 mins read
Doctors strike in Nairobi. PHOTO/KMPDU(@kmpdu)/X

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Dentists and Pharmacists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah has maintained his stance on continuing the ongoing doctors' strike.

Speaking on the matter during an interview with a local TV station, Atellah blamed the government's inaction for the crisis saying it is their responsibility to give doctors their demands to resolve the impasse which has seen 500 Kenyans die from lack of medical attention.

Asked about the guilt of breaking his oath considering the hundreds who have lost their lives, Atellah said the oath only applied when a doctor is handling a patient, faulting the government for failing to ensure that doctors are at work.

"When it's reported that more than 500 people have lost their lives, it is not easy for doctors or even as a union but it is the responsibility of the government to make doctors be at work.

"As a doctor, we take an oath to serve the patients but the oath only applies to the patient who is sitting with you in the hospital. The moment you come off the hospital and come home you are not offering services therefore you are doing no harm," Atellah said.

The SG highlighted that the medics have confronted the government over their demands for the umpteenth time but nothing has been done despite the formation of the Whole of the Nation committee.

He also took a swipe at officials claiming that the strike is politically motivated to ruin the government's reputation and stall activities.

"It is ignorant and wrong to say that the strike is politically motivated. We gave the government notice of a strike on March 6, 2024, before proceeding on strike on March 13, we have only had one meeting with the government, the other meetings were just hanging on one side of the story so that has led us not to proceed with work because when we had a meeting we agreed with the sub-committee which was then to lead negotiations but they are not ready.

"On the 27th of last month, the government walked out on talks which is a clear indication that it is the government who doesn't really care about the status of the Kenyans," he added.

Atellah's remarks come amid Head of Public Service Felix Koskei's assurance to doctors on the strike.

Koskei who heads the Whole of the Nation Committee announced that the government was willing to resume talks once the medics called off the strike.

"The committee shall convene within 24 hours of KMPDU suspension of the strike in full compliance with order of the Principal Judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court of Kenya," Koskei said.

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