I have heard of an orthopaedic surgeon who is so incompetent that his blunders are used to identify him, like fingerprints.
Finally, I am not convinced that doctors give that much of a hoot for patients. They have been away for more than two months and they wanted to shut down all the hospitals in the country for 48 hours.
How many of us would have died in that time? How many of us, especially those who can’t afford private hospitals, have died in those two months?
My own personal opinion is that doctors deserve a fair salary, way more than they are currently paid and that their conditions of work on many occasions are an outright scandal.
But at the same time, I know that the impunity in our hospitals is worse than in politics. Your stupid mistakes kill, maim and destroy other human beings without accountability. This must end.
Secondly, doctors are opposed to the devolution of health. There is no way a centralised monolith can manage such a diverse and critical service.
In the past, doctors would be posted to some far-flung place. Many would rarely leave the city but would continue earning a salary. They would visit their stations in the manner of consultants while in actual fact they were on the staff.
But you can’t do that if there is a governor and local officials watching over what you are doing. This is partly what the doctors are resisting, along with the difficulties of working for corrupt and inept county governments.
In this, I think, they have entered into an unholy alliance with the Afya House crowd, who also are loath to see health devolved because they want the largesse to remain in Nairobi.
Kenya’s medical profession requires not good public relations and theatrics but a complete overhaul from training to the institutions and the laws that govern it.
You can only cover up the deaths of Kenyans for so long, but one day soon, we shall know the truth. It’s the only way to remain true to the idealism and courage of those young people so many years ago.