KMPDU hits out at Gov’t for ‘training, dumping’ doctors
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists
Union (KMPDU) has slammed the government for what it terms as “training and
dumping” junior doctors, thereby leading to a severe shortage of medics in the
KMPDU, through National Secretary General Dr. Davji Bhimji Atellah, now wants an assurance that all intern doctors will be retained and employed by the State once their stints are done and dusted.
According to Dr. Atellah, despite their being a shortage of medics in Kenya, over 4,000 fully trained doctors are yet to be posted to various hospitals after finishing their internship stints.
“We produce 900 doctors per year, they train and dump, there are more than 4,000 doctors who need to be employed urgently,” Dr. Atellah told Citizen Digital in a phone call from South Africa, where he is presently representing the East African health sector in human resource benchmarking and brainstorming sessions.
“The lack of doctors and the poor state of healthcare is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. The shortage of medical professionals contributes to inadequate healthcare services, particularly in rural and underprivileged areas. This not only affects access to healthcare but also perpetuates health inequalities.”
The KMPDU boss also stressed on the importance of equipping hospitals with modern equipment so as to improve the quality of healthcare.
He further urged the government to direct more money towards medical schools, as well as conduct sensitizations about the medical profession to enable more more students enrol into the course.
“To improve healthcare services, we must prioritize the education and training of more doctors and other medical professionals. This includes increasing funding for medical schools and residency programs and providing incentives for students to pursue careers in medicine,” stated Dr. Atellah.
“Additionally, we must invest in modernizing healthcare infrastructure, such as hospitals and clinics, to ensure that they are equipped with the latest technology and can provide high-quality care.”
He added: “Furthermore, we must also focus on addressing the social determinants of health, such as poverty and lack of access to basic needs, which are major drivers of poor health outcomes. Only by taking a comprehensive approach to healthcare can we ensure that all citizens have access to quality care and that we can close the gap in health disparities.”
While in South Africa, the KMPDU Secretary General joined the country’s medics in their own protest, which he said he endorses because it was about similar things as those the union is advocating for in Kenya, and for the region at large.
“We joined our colleagues, South Africa Medical Affiliated Trade Union (SAMATU), in marching from Heartfelt Arena Pretoria to the Premier’s office to submit a memorandum in a show of unity and collectiveness,” he said.
“This was a decisive moment in the history of struggle for doctors in South Africa, the march was led by General Secretary Dr Cedric joined with COSATU President Zingiswa Losi. The issues they continue to struggle with are the same for Kenyan doctors.”
Today, we joined our colleagues, South Africa Medical Affiliated Trade Union, in marching from Heartfelt Arena Pretoria to the Premier’s office to submit a memorandum in a show of unity and collectiveness, This was a decisive moment in the history of struggle for doctors in SA pic.twitter.com/4T4yXgKNjI— Dr. Davji Bhimji (@Davji) January 26, 2023
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