Just like any human doctors are social beings. We all need other people for existence and survival. Societies and countries too depend on others for growth and development. People depend on each other for help, consolation, encouragement, support, etc. People who offer such support are friends, family and workmates. People experience many problems which they most often than not keep to themselves. This can cause stress and in serious cases depression. It is in such times that people require support from friends and loved ones to ease the strain.
KMA Membership Committee in Nairobi Division conducted a survey in June 2018 under Chairmanship of Dr. Macharia Waruingi of Ubrica, convener of membership committee, Media outreach committee and medical camps committee Nairobi division KMA. Preliminary results of the survey show various concerns raised by the doctors who participated. One of the concerns raised was that KMA should come up with ways of improving social welfare of doctors.
From the survey, doctors suggested that KMA needs to improve social welfare of its members. Doctors go through a lot of stressing issues from their patients, families, hospitals, etc. When going through this they need people to depend on and activities that involve less work. While in the hospital, doctors have to be strong for their patients. They listen to other people’s problems and give them hope. Doctors therefore also need people they can rely on in times of need.
This can be achieved by strengthening doctors organizations that will in turn bring cohesion among medics who are members. Welfare groups offer support to their members during conditions such as incapacitation, death, disease and unemployment. This could be affecting the member of the welfare group or a loved one. KMA is already giving this support to doctors in different ways e.g. KMA housing is helping with housing for doctors and KMA SACCO is helping with giving loans to doctors. However, majority of the doctors who took the survey felt there is still more that KMA can do. Their suggestions were:
- Negotiating with insurance companies to cover for doctors and their families to avoid scenarios where doctors get sick and they cannot afford the very services they offer.
- KMA to create events outside work. Starting a club where members and their families go for recreation or offer subsidized memberships to health clubs and golf clubs. Teambuilding is an example of such events. KMA can be organizing teambuilding activities for doctors every once in a while. Goat eating events where they meet, relax and enjoy each other’s company. During these kind of events and activities, people get a chance to bond, socialize and know each other better. Doctors can also come together and form welfare groups and be having meetings regularly.
- Social events that include family. Family outings, kids Christmas parties, group hikes at a subsidized rate and family get together activities
- Establish a desk/team that can be tasked with approaching members who may need coerced help from colleagues, issues of fervent unethical matters in practice that haven’t been taken to court, substance abuse, GBSV, mental disorders in a colleague, terminal illness-cancer, stroke etc.
- Encourage mentorship. Suicide rate among doctors worldwide on the rise.
- Develop a welfare kitty for help whenever there is need. For example have some benevolent funds for member’s family in death.
Complete KMA Member Satisfaction/ Needs Assessment Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7K5GFDY
Join conversation on KMA Telegram group for in-depth updates here: https://t.me/joinchat/I1wWcki3NO3hlHs_zz9SWg
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Find Clinical Proceedings from Hospitals of Kenya
Ubrica Official Discussion Group on Telegram
Caroline Muthoni Ndigirigi.