Anger & disappointment as doctors say they are overwhelmed, urge Gov’t to hire more medics


Anger & disappointment as doctors say they are overwhelmed, urge Gov't to hire more medics
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 26: Doctors treat COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit at the third Covid 3 Hospital (Istituto clinico CasalPalocco) during the Coronavirus emergency on March 26, 2020, in Rome, Italy. Hospitals in Italy are under increased pressure as they battle to treat those who have contracted COVID-19. The Italian government continues to enforce the nationwide lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union are demanding that the Government hire more doctors to handle the COVID-19 crisis.

In a stern statement, the union expressed their dismay saying doctors handling the current situation are already overwhelmed.

“Kenya has a biting shortage of doctors and the available ones are already overwhelmed by the increased workload….Failing to hire more doctors is akin to playing with fire,” KMPDU said on Friday.

The union is urging the Government to employ more doctors immediately to prepare for what they term as ‘looming crisis’ as the number of coronavirus cases increase.

Aside from shortage of doctors, KMPDU expressed anger and disappointment over the lack of adequate protective gear.

According to the statement; doctors are at the frontline of the war against COVID-19 but have been left exposed and vulnerable to contracting the disease.

“…workers are inadequately with PPEs and only a few have received proper requisite training to prevent and combat this pandemic, which not only exposes a great danger to medics and their families but also the general public,” KMPDU said.

The doctors’ union lauded the Government for the stringent measures effected so far but urged hiring of doctors, training and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) also be prioritized.

KMPDU reiterated that there are many unemployed doctors in the country who had been barred from seeking employment outside the country.

“(The doctors) have since been balkanized in Kenya with no employment. The Government must do the right thing!” the union said.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday directed counties to hire 5000 more medical personnel to plug the current shortage.

According to him, the process should be finalized in the next 1 week with an additional 1000 health workers in the process of being hired to work at Mbagathi Hospital and at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital (KUTRRH).

The CS has also since revealed that a clinical officer tested positive for coronavirus.

She contracted the disease while in the line of duty but is said to be responding well to treatment.

So far, Kenya has reported 110 cases of coronavirus: 3 people died and 4 have since recovered.

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