• May 23, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:57 AM
  • Nairobi

Ruto speaks on ongoing doctors, clinical officers strike

Ruto speaks on ongoing doctors, clinical officers strike

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

President William Ruto has finally broken his silence over the ongoing doctors’ strike.

The strike is set to enter its third week on Monday, and there have been no signs of both sides loosening their stand.

While the doctors insist the government must fully implement the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Ministry of Health argues there are no resources to facilitate the financial implementation of the CBA.

But even as both sides continue to engage each other, President Ruto has now waded into the issue.

Speaking during a Sunday service at AIC Fellowship in Eldoret Town, the head of state asked the doctors to accept the government’s offer of medical interns.

The government has committed to pay medical interns Ksh70,000 salary, way below the Ksh206 contained in the now contentious CBA. Last week, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) turned down the offer.

“That is what we can offer and we have availed resources to have all the 1500 intern doctors absorbed at once,” the President said.

He added that it was time Kenyans accepted that the country was still struggling and that it had to live within its means.

“We cannot continue to spend the money we don’t have,” Ruto noted.

Doctors want medical interns posted based on the 2017 CBA, but the government say the financial implications were way beyond their means.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commision (SRC) recommended that the interns be paid a salary of between Ksh50,000 and Ksh70,000 – an advisory that has widely been condemned by the doctors’ union.

However, the President insists the county is facing a wage bill crisis that would be worsened was it to give into the doctors’ demands.

“We want to have a conversation on the wage bill because it’s a fact that we must now live within our means. We must be honest with ourselves and the truth is that we must live within our means. we cannot borrow money to pay salaries,” Ruto noted.

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