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Healthcare Crisis: ICJ-Kenya wants an end to ongoing impasse

The International Commission of Jurists, the Kenyan Chapter, is expressing concern over the negative impact of the ongoing doctors’ strike.

In a statement, the commission’s chairperson Protas Saende is worried that patients are undergoing untold suffering from the strike, yet major parties in the stalemate don’t seem keen to resolve the situation, two weeks after the medical practitiners downed their tools.

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Saende further indicated that the move by the government to switch from National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), coupled with the ongoing strike has created a serious crisis in health facilities amid claims that the pace at which the funds are released upon claim has been stepped down.

This, according to ICJ-Kenya has disadvantaged a number of private hospitals financially; a situation that has pushed them to ask for payment directly from their patients.

The commission is appealing, among other things, that dialogue between Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU), Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC), national and county governments is held to resolve contentious issues.

It further wants the SRC, national government and county governments to adequately compensate doctors and interns by according them a salary that matches their experience, expertise and the nature of their duties.

Besides this, ICJ is asking the parties to ‘keep their word’ whenever an agreement resulting from such negotiations is reached at and signed.

Doctors called the strike citing issues such as the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that has not been fully implemented, posting of medical interns, comprehensive medical cover, postgraduate training, and employment of doctors, among others.

 David Bett
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