Doctors in Mandera County down tools

Health services in Mandera County have been interrupted after doctors in the region downed their tools accusing the county government of failing to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2017.

The doctors are also accusing the county administration of failing to improve security at their work places.

The doctors’ strike, which started on Thursday after a two weeks’ notice, caused confusion at the Mandera County Referral Hospital as patients remained unattended with some seeking referrals to private facilities.

According to Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union officials, the strike commenced following stalled negotiations between the doctors’ union and Mandera County Executive.

Doctors says the negotiations were in relation to unresolved grievances emerging from the 2017 collective bargaining agreement signed by the Mandera County government and KMPDU.

Among the contentious issues pointed out by the union officials include poor working conditions, delayed promotions and failure to release doctors for post graduate studies.

In Kirinyaga County, doctors who have been on a month long strike have been urged to resume duty or face disciplinary action.

Area members of county assembly want the medics to abide by a court order that declared their strike illegal and unprotected.

In his ruling on Thursday, justice Nzioki wa Makau of the Employment and Labour Relations Court noted that the Labour Act requires medics to provide essential services hence industrial action should be a last resort only taken when all other avenues for dispute resolution have been exhausted.

When they began their strike, the medics complained of poor working conditions at Kerugoya County Referral Hospital, saying it was dirty, had dysfunctional machines and lacked reagents for laboratory tests.


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