Kenyan doctors protest unemployment crisis

More than 200 doctors demonstrated Tuesday in Nairobi and voiced concerns about unemployment and the growing underemployment crisis that has gripped the medical profession in Kenya.

The demonstration organized by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), saw medical professionals from various specialties peacefully gather to highlight the severe shortage of employment opportunities for doctors.

Protesters Susan Mwangi emphasized the gravity of the situation.

“We have a significant number of highly skilled medical professionals who have graduated and are yet to secure stable employment. This is not only a matter of unemployment but also underemployment, as many doctors are forced to accept positions that do not match their qualifications and expertise,” she said.

Doctors marched through streets with placards that carried powerful messages, including: “Quality healthcare needs quality jobs.”

The protests come in the wake of growing frustration within the medical community about the limited job opportunities that are available.

A petition submitted to the Ministry of Health reads in part that “there are unprecedented shortages of doctors and healthcare workers in the hospital amidst unemployment and underemployment crisis in both public and private hospitals.”

Despite years of rigorous training and commitment to the profession, many doctors said they find themselves struggling to secure permanent positions at health care institutions.

Kenya, a country with more than 50 million people, is grappling with a shortage of health care workers.

The KMPDU has urged the government to urgently address the issue.

It is advocating for the creation of more job opportunities within the public health care sector and improved working conditions for doctors.

The KMPDU expressed its willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing doctors.

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