Doctors on strike treat victims of highway tragedy

Doctors on Sunday mobilised their colleagues to attend to victims of the Naivasha road accident that claimed nearly 40 lives.

This comes as Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between his administration and doctors and nurses on Monday.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials urged their colleagues in Nakuru and Naivasha to attend to the casualties in spite of the strike entering its seventh day. Three Ugandans, a driver and two passengers died in the accident.

The driver has been identified as Mr Ben Ayabake, 25 while the two passengers are Mr Matia Maganda 28, and Ms Namakaile Jeniffer 23.

“As union officials, we have been on phones mobilising our colleagues around Naivasha to respond to the emergency and offer their services to the casualties,” said Dr Ouma Oluga, the union’s national secretary-general. “This does not mean the doctors’ strike is over.”

They said their colleagues who responded to the pleas rushed to the accident scene and helped in emergency cases.

“We condole with the families who lost their loved ones in the Naivasha tragedy and ask the government to act with humanity and address the doctors’ plight for the sake of Kenyans, who are suffering,” said Dr Samwel Oroko, the union’s national chairman.

The doctors welcomed news that nurses had called off their strike after reaching an agreement on a pay rise with the government, but said they would press on with theirs.

“It’s good news if the nurses have called off the strike but, in our case, we have not reached an agreement and the strike is still on,” said Dr Daisy Korir, the union national treasurer. “If the government has reached an agreement with the nurses, they should do the same with the doctors.

“All we want is the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) to be signed.”

The officials made the remarks following a church service dedicated to them at the AIC in a bid to resolve the stalemate with the government that has paralysed health services in most public hospitals countrywide.

“We appeal to Kenyans to pray for the government and its leadership to make wise decisions and end the strike,” said Dr Korir.

Kenyans woke up to heartbreaking news of the accident at Karai in Naivasha on Saturday night. Witnesses said the driver lost control of a light truck and it hit another vehicle, which created a chain of knocks. The truck burst into flames, spreading fire to the other vehicles.

The accident on the busy highway, some 80 kilometres west of Nairobi, created a horrifying scene.

According to a preliminary police report released yesterday morning, the truck (registration number UAK 519C) hit a speed bump.

On Sunday, Transport Permanent Secretary Irungu Nyakera told the media at the scene that nine police guns were found at the scene.

The Kenya Red Cross has set up an information desk at Naivasha Police Station, where relatives have been urged to report their missing ones for identification.

UNNECESSARY CRISIS

In Bomet, KMPDU, Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) and health staff on other cadres working in the county government will sign the MoU on their CBA.

Mr Ruto said the health staff performed noble duties in saving the lives of Kenyans and should, therefore, be paid what was due to them instead of plunging the health sector into an unnecessary crisis that could have been avoided.

“My government will implement the CBA to the letter and pay all your perks by the end of this month before we break for Christmas,” the governor assured health workers.
The governor however warned union officials against invading health institutions in the region to eject health staff who had ignored the countrywide strike.

At the meeting where the deal was struck, the medical staff were represented by Dr Erick Kibet and Mr Bernard Cheruiyot.

Mr Ruto said come January next month, the health staff should not have any problem of paying fees so that they can take their children to school and hence deliver health care services to the sick uninterrupted.

At the meeting where the deal was truck, the staff were represented by Dr Erick Kibet and Mr Bernard Cheruiyot.

The governor warned KMPDU national officials against invading health institutions to evict the health staff in the region who had ignored the national strike from their duty stations.

Mr Ruto stated that the national officials had allegedly issued threats notice to the staff on that effect and told them that they will be doing so at their own peril since the county government was protecting the health staff to the hilt.

On the construction of the Varsity in Bomet town, the governor noted that it was regrettable to note that President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the function at the location and yet the court of appeal had outlawed the site for the purpose.

Mr Ruto insisted that his administration would not let go the site of dumping the solid waste and the land where the stadium stands but said he was ready to talk with the president over the matter as he had earlier requested during the launch.

via Doctors on strike treat victims of highway tragedy – Daily Nation

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