Healthcare workers' strike persists as gov't and unions fail to reach agreement

Healthcare workers' strike persists as gov't and unions fail to reach agreement

Doctors and clinical workers on strike in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY | KMPDU

A Thursday evening meeting between the government and the Kenya Medical Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and other unions aimed at ending the healthcare workers' strike has failed to bear fruit. 

The meeting was led by the Whole of Nation Approach Committee which was summoned by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei following Wednesday’s court order.

 After almost five hours in a closed-door meeting, the two parties said there was no agreement arrived at yet, but expressed hope of progress in another meeting scheduled for Friday.

KMPDU will be meeting the Ministry of Health in the morning to discuss issues touching on the national government, at midday they will have a sit down with the Council of Governors before reconvening with the Whole of Nation Approach Committee.

The court directed the government and KMPDU to convene a meeting and come up with a return-to-work formula by Friday even as they continue with negotiations for 30 more days.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Wednesday extended orders suspending the protracted doctors' strike in a bid to pave way for further negotiations.

Justice Byram Ongaya, in a ruling on Wednesday, directed all the 47 county governments and other stakeholders including the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to negotiate with good faith putting in mind the interests of Kenyans.

Justice Ongaya also ruled that there should be doctors in all the level 3, 4 and 5 hospitals, among them Mathare Hospital, Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to handle emergency cases.

"The return to work formula and the memorandum of understanding on minimum safety services in that regard that all hospitals categorised as levels 3,4 and 5 there should be at least two doctors per cader, two medical officers, two dental officers, two pharmacists and at least two consultants designated to be on duty to handle emergencies," he stated.


KMPDU Ministry of Health Doctors strike

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