Plight of Doctors

​There’s that KMPDU official who nearly cried as she explained the battles she’s had to fight to ensure negotiations succeed. She couldn’t even see the judge (her spectacles broke as she demonstrated or protested or negotiated…  fighting for a better healthcare). I didn’t get her name. But if the picture she painted did not touch you, please don’t get sick.

I see so many people telling doctors off online. 

I heard the judge tell them that they “stink like sewage” because they had defied the court. I have read posts dismissing doctors as if they are pesky politicians (who steal your taxes and instead of you complaining, you laud them, you defend them, and you can even fight – you actually do fight online— on their behalf). Now, here are doctors, sane people who want reforms in the health sector. Instead of Kenyans rallying behind them, some Kenyans are talking about how they were “humbled”. How do you threaten a doctor with jail?

 How, pray, can you even imagine locking up a doctor with pickpockets, cow thieves, robbers and murderers? And all because they have this document that seeks to ensure the healthcare infrastructure is fixed? Yet when a top official of the Ministry of Health builds a Sh120 million house after a year in office, it is just another headline story? Never mind that he declared his net wealth before taking office as Sh15 million! 

How, pray can you not question a person who leaves a Sh5 million monthly salary to join the civil service and earn less than Sh1 million a month, and within a year or two in office, a scandal explodes that Sh5 billion was stolen?

Yet, when doctors are trying to connect the dots for you, and telling you that it is that corruption that is killing you and your relatives, you are least bothered. The stories of death in hospitals become just another news item. 

And because you can’t handle the truth – in your face—you attack a journalist who brought you a beautiful story showing you how mothers and children were suffering and dying, because an incorrigible government has refused to fix healthcare, and is thriving on propaganda as if it is all about the money.

I don’t know about you, but when I read that India spurned the government’s bid to ferry doctors – what language would they have spoken? How would they make a diagnosis without listening to me blubbering in Kiswahili (or broken English) about my symptoms and how I am feeling?—it broke my heart.

There are people the system shouldn’t mess with: the doctors and nurses (they fix bodies), teachers (including lecturers who mould the mind). In Kenya, we have messed with both. The students failed (how many Es were those again?) but people instead believe the system was so rotten that a few tough rules at exam time can have such drastic impact. I don’t know. But what’s that in front of a good story complete with a hero(es)?

Anyway, what do I know? I mean apart from the natural wisdom to respect doctors and teachers? Shindeni hapo! When you fall sick, please pray that by that time, the doctors would have been heard, the health system and its infrastructure fixed, or else… (I just can’t imagine!)

#Copied From Shiundu Alphonce


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