• April 23, 2024
  • Last Update April 23, 2024 10:40 PM
  • Nairobi

Our strike is still on, doctors declare


By Peter Ochieng

Doctors have declared that their strike which started last week is still on, despite meeting Cabinet Secretary (CS) for health Susan Nakhumicha on Monday.

The doctors said they appreciate efforts by the CS in addressing concerns which caused the strike, but they cannot call it off just yet.

Kenya Medical Practioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah said in the past they have called off strikes after promises by the government, only for the status quo to remain.

“We just want to affirm that our strike is still on. We had the meeting with the Ministry led by the CS, I must appreciate that there is understanding that the issues that we are advocating for are pending,” he said.

Doctors went on strike to ‘force the government’s hand’ into addressing several issues, including posting of medical interns to boost delivery of health services in public hospitals.
Atellah says the issues have been pending for long, with previous promises failing to he implemented.

“We know very well that we have had a promise before and the interns were to be posted in February, today we were given a promise that they will be posted in April. I must say that goodwill is earned and is earned from the outcome of previous commitments.”

“We have had commitments before with the government in January 2023 but nothing to date has been implemented. As we go on with this strike it is not a strike that we are going to accept promises, it is a strike that we are going to accept commitments and outcomes for the doctors,” he added.

After the meeting, CS Nakhumicha announced that the government would start posting interns in April, 2024.

“I’m happy to report that we have made progress as a ministry… We have briefed the union and agreed that we have received confirmation from the Treasury; beginning April 1, we are going to be posting interns,” she told told a press conference.

On the doctors’ 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Nakhumicha said negotiations will continue this week and that all pending dues will be cleared per the court’s directives.

“Regarding the CBA that has lapsed, we have agreed that the ministry will continue with negotiations. Within this week, the ministry will call for a meeting.”

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