Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka urges striking doctors to consider Emergency cases

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka has made a heartfelt plea to the striking doctors and members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union, urging them to prioritize emergency medical care amidst the ongoing strike.

Expressing his Easter sentiments, Lusaka voiced his deep concerns regarding the strike, emphasizing the importance of medical professionals demonstrating patriotism in order to prevent the loss of precious lives.

“It is within the oath of doctors to safeguard lives. I appeal to you to uphold a sense of patriotism even in the face of challenges,” he earnestly implored.

Lusaka underscored the indispensable role that doctors play in society, emphasizing that the cessation of their services poses a significant threat to the lives of Kenyans. Nonetheless, he remained optimistic about ongoing negotiations between the doctors and the Ministry of Health.

The already precarious state of Kenya’s healthcare sector has been exacerbated by the nationwide strike initiated by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), which came into effect from midnight on Sunday.

The union has put forth six demands to the government, including the confirmation of clinical officers as permanent staff with pension benefits and the swift conclusion of negotiations on their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which have been at a standstill since 2017.

Furthermore, KUCO seeks a clear pathway for career progression for its members, citing instances where clinical officers have remained stagnant in their positions since 2013.

In the midst of this turmoil, religious leaders in Kiambu County have called upon President William Ruto to intervene and facilitate a resolution to the protracted doctors’ strike, stressing the adverse impact it has had on the operation of vital public health facilities.

Despite efforts to reach a consensus, negotiations hit an impasse when the government delegation, led by Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Head of Public Service Josphat Nanok, refused to engage with the striking medics until they called off their boycott.

Conversely, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union, through its Secretary-General Davji Atella, remained steadfast in their decision to continue the strike, signaling a prolonged standoff between the medical professionals and the government.