Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has sounded an alarm over the quality of healthcare services in the country.
Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday during a capacity building workshop organised by the Association of Medical Councils of Africa (Amcoa), Ms Kariuki said health workers should not take their profession for granted.
What provoked her disappointment are the recent malpractice lawsuits filed by patients. "Over the years, we have had serious ethical issues with some medical professionals. The calling of a doctor is like the calling of a priest, the only difference is that doctors must save lives for this world, while priests do so for the world to come. This requires total dedication to duty and absolute commitment to the needs of the human race," she said.
Ms Kariuki told medics that patients' welfare should prioritised, urging them to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, which calls for upholding of ethical standards.
"Patients, whether poor or rich, require your services. There is need for doctors to reciprocate with allegiance to their oath of office by giving their best to patients at all times," she said.
And she praised Amcoa for supporting medical regulatory authorities in Africa to ensure integrity of the profession is safeguarded.
Ms Kariuki also said public awareness must be hinged on preventive care rather than curative.