• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 8:14 PM
  • Nairobi

Atwoli speaks on the ongoing doctors’ strike

Politics

By Peter Ochieng

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-K) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has addressed the ongoing doctors’ strike, which is in its third week.

The striker was called by the Kenya Medical, Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to push for implementation of the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and posting of intern doctors among other issues.

Speaking on Saturday during a Shops Stewards meeting, Atwoli said like any other Kenyan, the strike continues to deny him sleep, given the fact that no health services are currently being offered in public hospitals across the country.

“People are saying that I am not talking. We are consulting, I have been in touch with the minister this morning and I want to be in touch with the union,” Atwoli said.

“We can neither decide for the union nor the government, that is why there is tripartism arrangement but we can narrow the gap on issues and come up with a return-to-work formula for doctors to go back to work,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Council of Governors (CoG) wants the 2017 CBA between KMPDU and the government re-looked into, over claims that it contains components that are difficult and unreasonable to implement.

Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki who doubles up as the chairperson of the health committee in the CoG says 95 percent of doctors have individual contracts with each of the 47 counties, and thus their continued stay in the streets is unwarranted.

“I will not stand here on behalf of the Council of Governors (CoG) and say that the terms were signed under duress. Some of those terms that have been put there are the ones I am talking about,” he stated.  

“Could there be more to the strike than what is being aired? This is the question being fronted by the Council of Governors who believe most of the issues doctors are on strike about have either been addressed or are in the pipeline.”

Doctors maintain that they will only go back to work after their demands have been met.

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