Oparanya Urges Respectful Funerals without Discussing Strikes and Doctors

Wycliffe Oparanya

Wycliffe Oparanya, the ex-governor of Kakamega, has condemned Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha for her inability to resolve the ongoing doctors’ strike.

Oparanya, speaking at a meeting attended by Nakhumicha, urged the CS to engage the president to resolve the stalemate, which has greatly impacted healthcare in devolved units.

“I hope you are working on the doctors’ issue. Some people can afford not to go to government hospitals and make money. They can sustain the strike for as long as they want,” said Oparanya.

The former Kakamega governor regretted that the CS was spending most of her office time in funerals and political functions politicising the ongoing doctor’s strike rather than dealing with it with the urgency and decorum he deserved.

“I am surprised you have been here (Lugari) sitting the whole day waiting to speak in this fest and been wondering what time you have for the duty. I have been a governor and minister and know how the government runs. You should be in office sorting the complex health issues,” Oparanya told Nakhumicha who minutes earlier had termed the strike as a passing sensation.

“You keep belittling doctors thinking they are nurses. The thing with doctors is that they have side hustles to sustain them while the strike goes on. They may carry on for as many months as they can as our people suffer.” Added the former governor.

He advised the Health CS to adopt a softer approach and initiate negotiations with the doctors to prevent further adverse effects on patients.

Due to the impasse between doctors and the government, health services in many hospitals remain disrupted.

Negotiations hit a deadlock last week when the government refused to continue talks with striking medics until they returned to work.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah accused the government of lacking seriousness in addressing doctors’ concerns.

The government has threatened to dismiss doctors who don’t report to work, insisting that discussions on a return-to-work formula won’t occur until they resume work, a stance KMPDU opposes.

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