Health crisis as doctors, nurses strike

By Margaret Kalekye

Patients seeking services at the country’s public hospitals continue to suffer as doctors made good their threat and suspended their services.

The doctors say they will stay put until a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union and the national government in June 2013 is honored.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union secretary General Dr. Ouma Oluga says their members will not be hoodwinked to accepting stop gap measures.

The striking doctors held a peaceful protest from the public service club to the national treasury to express their displeasure over delayed implementation of the deal.

Talks to avert the strike by doctors and nurses collapsed Sunday evening after union officials failed to show up.

At a press conference in Nairobi, Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu accused the health workers representatives of skipping talks to solve the stalemate.

Dr Mailu who was flanked by his Finance counterpart Henry Rotich and Council of Governors Health Committee chair James Ongwae  said they were committed to implement the new Salaries and Remuneration Commission civil servants payment framework.

“We are willing to engage the union to resolve the issues raised and assure the public of our commitment” Said Mailu.

He added “we are hopeful that we will be able to engage the union so that Kenyans do not suffer”.

Governor James Ongwae said the county governments are willing to honor the 2013 collective bargain agreement between the government and the health workers unions even though it was signed before implementation of devolution.

The Doctors and Nurses claim the national and county governments have failed to address members’ pay demands which include harmonization of the collective bargain agreement that will streamline salaries disparities that exist at county and national level.

 

 

 

More updates follow…………..

  

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