Drop hardline stance; Lichuma urges healthcare providers and Governors over standoff
National Gender and Equality Commission Chairperson Winfred Lichuma has urged doctors and governors to drop their hardline stance and end devastating standoff that has seen operations in public hospitals paralyzed as doctors went on strike.
Speaking in Busia while paying a courtesy call to the County Governor Sospeter Ojamoong, Lichuma said it is unacceptable that Kenyans continue to suffer and die for lack of medical services. “we are now witnessing loss of life as doctors defy the law and even their Hippocratic oath” regretted Lichuma.
Under the fourth schedule of the Constitution, health services have been devolved to the counties. Article 235 of the Constitution provides for a framework of uniform norms and standards prescribed by an Act of parliament for public service offices established in the counties. However it is this absence of a framework that has seen doctors go on strike protesting the move to second them to the counties saying they stand to lose on their allowances and emoluments.
Governors on the other hand maintain that the County government Act sufficiently addresses their concerns and that under no circumstances would any public officer have their emoluments adjusted to their disadvantage. Most county governments have already advertised for replacement of the striking doctors as the situation degenerates into a crisis.
However the NGEC Chairperson warned that the standoff was putting the lives of Kenyans at peril since patients are being turned away from the hospitals and with nowhere to turn to. At the same time Lichuma urged the doctors’ union to call off the strike and seek dialogue with the Governors to have the issue sorted as a framework is put place to address their concerns
Photo: NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma(right)and Busia County Executive member for Gender Matinde Mchuma with Busia County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong' while she paid him a courtesy call.
NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma(right)and Busia County Executive member for Gender Matinde Mchuma with Busia County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong