The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has asked the government to clear Dr Stephen Mogusu’s hospital bill and compensate his young family.
The 28-year-old doctor succumbed to Covid-19 complications yesterday.
He had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.
The young doctor is said to have contracted the virus at Machakos Covid-19 treatment centre while on duty.
While announcing Dr Mogusu’s death yesterday, the doctors’ union said that he had not been paid for five months.
Reports indicate that by the time of his death he had accumulated almost Ksh800,000 hospital bill.
“KMPDU mourns with the family, friends and colleagues of our departed colleague. We thank Kenyans for the support and prayers during these difficult and trying moments to the fraternity. His death and that of 12 other doctors have brought to core the WELFARE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH of ALL healthcare workers, ” Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda, KMPDU’s acting Secretary-General, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“KMPDU demands that the Ministry of Health to take full responsibility for all outstanding medical bills and compensation to the family.”
Dr Mwachonda reiterated the need for the government to protect frontline healthcare workers saying the union supports the strike action taken by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) and the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN).
The doctors’ union had on Sunday called off their planned strike in the last minute to give room for dialogue.
The doctors, however, noted that if the issue will not be resolved within the next two weeks, their strike will commence on December 21.
“KMPDU reiterates that the suspension of the intended strike Action for 14 days is an act of goodwill to allow for negotiations. The union calls upon the relevant government actors to come to the table in good faith. If the issues will not be comprehensively addressed within the 14-day timeline, KMPDU will go on a nationwide strike notice on 21st December with no further notice, ” he added.
Reacting to Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga’s remarks that this is not the right time for doctors to hold the government ransom, Mwachonda said: “KMPDU cautions the political leadership of the country from the insensitive remarks against the frontline workers of this country. All political actors should be concerned on the plight of healthcare workers in the country and show leadership at this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We commend the Senate and National Assembly health committees for their efforts in resolving the stalemate.”
Odinga, who was speaking in Kisumu on Monday, had urged the doctors not to endanger Kenyans lives by going on strike.
“The doctors themselves took an oath to protect lives, how then can you justify downing of tools when people are dying?” he posed.