Third Eye

Do not dance on graves of medics

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 00:00 |
An elderly man undergoes a COVID-19 nasal swab test. Photo/Courtesy

The country is staring at a worse health crisis following the decision by nurses to go on strike.

Doctors have also declared that they will follow suit if their grievances are not addressed soon.

These will effectively leave patients to their devices. The worrisome decision by medics in the middle of a pandemic should concern the authorities responsible and calls for urgent action. T

he medics who are frontline soldiers are not concerned about the increasing numbers of their colleagues to Covid-19 due to the levels of exposure out of interaction with parents, but also demanding a comprehensive medical cover.

The case of the doctor who died out of Covid-19 as colleagues raised funds for his treatment should prick the conscience of not only the nation but bring home the reality of the medics’ plight.

His family had to make a public appeal for financial support because the medic had no comprehensive medical cover.

The doctors have also raised the alarm that they are operating without Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) despite the Health ministry ordering the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) to release the materials to hospitals. 

There is also the case of 180 doctors who were contracted by the government six months ago but have not been paid. 

Nurses who boycotted work on Monday are also claiming poor pay and working conditions while some who were hired under the Universal Healthcare (UHC) are yet to be paid.

The effects of the strike have already been felt with thousands of patients abandoned in hospitals, some of them in critical condition.

The refrain by union officials is that the government has been giving their demands lip service always insisting there are no funds.

There have also been constant calls for the medics to be patriotic, patient and restrained. 

While we support the calls that medics should stay on duty as their issues are being addressed, we are deeply concerned about the casual manner with which an issue that touches on the health and livelihoods of millions of Kenyans has been treated. 

The Ministry of Health and county governments should rise to the occasion, initiate dialogue with the nurses to avert a clearly impending crisis. 

We are even more astounded with reckless and unhelpful comments by key politicians on the conflict.

Sentiments attributed to these leaders to the effect that medics can wait a little longer are irresponsible and counterproductive. They amount to a Dance Macabre.

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