AFRICA/KENYA - The Bishops denounce: "Doctors strike causes Kenyan citizens pain, misery and suffering of unimaginable proportions"

Friday, 9 December 2016 healthcare   bishops  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We express our deep concern over the ongoing Doctors and Nurses strike that has caused the Kenyan citizens pain, misery and suffering of unimaginable proportions", say the Catholic Bishops of Kenya in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides in which they denounce the dramatic consequences the strike is having.
"Helpless sick and frail people, children and the elderly including premature babies and accident victims have been abandoned to suffer and die in horrifying conditions while medical professionals and Government officials engage in grandstanding with no clear direction or hope", says the statement.
The Church empathizes with the medical professionals "on their disappointments on the failure to respect the collective agreement", but recall that "it is unfair for them to abandon innocent patients to such suffering".
"We invite the medical professionals who swore to protect life to reconsider their position and not engage in actions that threaten life. It is very painful that we still have not seen any coherent plan by government to stop the strike".
The Bishops have launched an appeal to the government to create a harmonious environment for dialogue in order "to bring an end to this stalemate", and to doctors "to respond to essential emergencies in order to save life".
Finally, they hope that "that quick action will be taken by all involved to ensure normal services are restored for the good of the Kenyan citizens who are in dire need of medical services".
The doctors and nurses strike in public hospitals began on December 5. In the face of the negotiating impasse, the unions have threatened to extend it to private facilities. Medical professionals protest because they have not received wage increases provided by the nation in the 2013 agreement (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/12/2016)