Striking Doctors at Uhuru Park Nairobi.

By Dr. Tabitha Njuguna.

It is with heavy heart that I have read the article by Mutuma Mathiu dated 16th Feb 2017 on the Daily Nation “Doctors deserve fair salaries but there’s sickening impunity”.

I would like to respond as follows.

I sympathize with him and any other patient that has suffered over the 2 months strike period or even before the strike.

There has been cases of medical negligence and apologies are in order in that regard,nevertheless the medical board has been pro active in dealing with such cases.

However I wish to strongly disagree with him on several points,just because one or two doctors are deficient in professional ethics, one cannot pen down an article that seeks to dehumanize the profession and make doctors look like monsters who have a heart of stone.
We are human,not gods,we make errors as any other human being,I respect the journalism profession but it is wrong to start a fire against a whole profession from the comfort of your keyboard.
Devolving health was wrong,I will not apologize for that,as the former President Moi stated,we devolved corruption and tribalism. Sending an ignorant person in the name of an MCA or a governor purporting to understand the  nitty gritty of healthcare  to slap doctors as they operate in theatre, that is not supervision my friend,that is disrespect and arrogance.
When a doctor can’t be hired or is denied salary based on their surnames that is what I call a country with an immoral heart devoid of any righteousness.
When doctors stay for 6months without pay under counties and have to go on numerous strikes to get what is rightfully theirs I call that slavery and injustice,we have surrendered our country to black colonial masters devoid of any sense of responsibility,consuming the soul of our nation.
Many times we have been questioned on our oath,morals and calling.I as a doctor have on many times with my colleagues forfeited our days off to come rescue patients,contributed from our pockets for patients,pricked ourselves in the line of duty,spent sleepless nights reading and brainstorming about our patients, many times we have prayed for our patients. You can insult us but you will never take away our pride for the many lives we try to save under dire circumstances.
The CBA addresses issues of disciplinary actions to be taken against doctors,hopefully you have read it. It will not solve everything but it’s a first step in getting a working system for healthcare.
Long have we been complacent with a bad healthcare system,poorly equipped facilities,understaffed hospitals and demotivated workforce,for 53 years to be precise,and unless we are willing to change then we cannot sit down and keep complaining from our comfort zones.
Men and women are willing to deliver if provided with the necessary facilitation to do so,therefore the doctor as the team leader will only deliver if the environment they operate under is an enabling one. The price of universal healthcare must be paid by governments if they are to provide 99% of the populace with good healthcare.
The fight for the implementation of the CBA is for all of us,so that we stop not only the bankruptcy that comes to most Kenyans once they have a sick family member but to provide healthcare that is of good quality,affordable,accessible and that gives our people the dignity they deserve.
I have a vision that one day our public hospitals will represent the epitome of healthcare in our nation,I hope Kenyans share in our dream as the doctors,however ours is to lead the nation to the truth but the conviction remains a personal and moral responsibility.

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