Members of the county assembly in Laikipia have asked Governor Ndiritu Muriithi to withdraw dismissal and show-cause letters issued to striking doctors and hold dialogue on a return-to-work formula.
The Health Committee members yesterday met the doctors in Nanyuki where they said the governor should negotiate with the medics who have been on strike for the last three weeks.
The appeal came after Mr Muriithi laid off 61 doctors on Monday for allegedly participating in an illegal strike.
The ward reps, led by committee chairperson Veronicah Ikunyua (Nanyuki), said the doctors' concerns were genuine, noting the issues raised did not have adverse budgetary implications as claimed by the governor.
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU) South Rift Secretary General Davji Atelleh told The Standard that they were ready to negotiate.
“It is unfortunate that the governor has decided to worsen the situation because he refused to sign a return-to-work formula even after we had agreed with his officers. If he had the goodwill of his people, he should be open to discussions,” said Dr Attelah, adding that they would challenge the move in court
The Health Committee will compile a report on the doctors’ strike and submit it to the County Assembly.
Muriithi sacked the striking doctors and deployed the officers holding administrative positions to the county's major hospitals.
He claimed that the demands made by the medics would strain the county’s wage bill.