By Lynace Mwashigadi
Talks mediated by the Inter- religious council of Kenya to resolve the doctors’ strike continued Monday amid renewed optimism that the stalemate could be resolved sooner rather than later.
With the team expected to appear before a three-judge bench at the appellate court on Tuesday, they have less than 24 hours to get a negotiated agreement between the aggrieved parties or present its report for further direction.
The council through SUPKEM Secretary General Adan Wachu which had requested the courts for two days to try and appeal to the aggrieved members by using their spiritual guidance to sway the talks have been meeting the antagonists in the impasse since Thursday last week.
The court had last week given the nod to have the inter- religious council lead the talks directing that the report be presented in court by KNCHR and LSK as an interim pending the final report to be tabled by the team of mediators Tuesday.
The prolonged negotiation process follows failure by differing parties to agree on how to settle the dispute with both unwilling to bow from their previous hard line stances.
The government still insists it does not have the resources to support the ballooning wage bill citing hard economic times, sticking with its initial 40% counter offer while the doctors are still holding to their 300% increment demand stalling the process that has continued to paralyze the health sector for 92 days now.
The health crisis might deepen following threats by clinical officers to down their tools.
Demonstrating along Afya house and SRC offices, the clinical officers who are calling for a comprehensive review of salaries in the health sector are accusing both the national and county governments of ignoring their plight despite being critical players in the health sector.
The clinical officers have threatened to commence their strike beginning next week calling for the speedy implementation of their negotiated memorandum of understanding.