By Lynace Mwashighadi/ Victor Muyakane
12 doctors have been fired by Kenyatta National Hospital with the Council of Governors’ chair Peter Munya claiming that plans are underway to get foreign doctors and expatriate Kenyan health workers to take the place of the striking doctors.
Those sent packing include officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union who have been leading talks to end the doctors’ strike that entered its 94th day.
The fate of 48 other doctors in the biggest referral facility in the country hangs in a balance while 206 others have been recalled to resume work immediately or face disciplinary action.
It all begun with a tough talking president Uhuru Kenyatta when he warned the striking doctors that the patience of government was running out. The head of state accusing the medics of trying to play monkey games on the talks to end the strike that has dragged on for 94 days.
The council of governors also read from the same script with the head of state accusing the doctors of not committed to talks to resolve the stalemate. In an interview on Wednesday evening, an incensed Council of Governors chair Peter Munya blamed the doctors for the impasse.
“We have given them too many chances over the three month period. Whoever wants to work will work, the rest will be fired. We as governors have resolved to fire them. They demand huge salaries that the government can’t handle…they don’t care about Kenyans.” He said.
With the sacking of the 12, the fate of 48 others in uncertain. Among those sacked by KNH management include KMPDU secretary general Nairobi branch. Thuranira kaugiria.
The management of the biggest referral facility in the country says it will advertise the vacant positions soon and will not revert on its decision.
But as the hammer was falling on the KNH 12, KMPDU officials were held up in a day-long meeting perhaps to ponder the next move and have resorted to using short text messages to call on its members to soldier on.
The government Tuesday withdrew its offer of 40 percent salary increment to doctors accusing the union of making it hard for a compromise and engaging in blackmail.