Migori County Referral Hospital, August 10, 2020. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

It is a relief for patients in Migori County after doctors shelved their plan to proceed on strike over unpaid dues.

This is after the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) entered into an agreement with Governor Ochilo Ayacko’s administration on how to settle the salary arrears.

In the deal, the devolved unit will pay the doctors their arrears within 60 days.

Speaking to journalists in Migori town yesterday, the Nyanza branch Chairman for KMPDU Onyango Ndong’a announced they would not proceed with their planned strike.

The union has given Governor Ayacko’s administration 60 days to address their demands highlighted in a 14-day strike notice they had issued to the administration about 10 days ago.

They had demanded the promotion of doctors, provision of health insurance coverage, payment of doctors’ dues and a better working environment.

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The union also wants staffing and equipment provided in the hospitals.

“We would want to inform the citizens of Migori County that we will not continue with our strike. We believe all the issues that we canvas today will be sorted with finality and that in future we will be sitting down and sorting out our issues diplomatically,” Dr Ndong’a said.

Closed-door meeting

Before the agreement, the union had held a closed-door meeting that lasted for hours at the  county headquarters with Migori County Secretary Oscar Olima and officials from various county departments, where they agreed to have issues raised in the strike notice solved within the set timeline.

The Nyanza KMPDU chairman who thanked Governor Ayacko for extending an olive branch and asked leaders in Nyanza to follow suit and address the doctors' demands.

According to Ndong’a, Governor Ayacko’s administration had admitted that the doctors had not gotten their rightful dues and would receive them within 60 days.

The union highlighted that healthcare workers, specifically doctors, must be promoted promptly.

County Secretary Olima said they are committed to ensuring they take care of the welfare of workers, especially doctors.

“We have made significant strides to make healthcare a priority to the citizens of Migori County,” Olima said. 

The county has over 3,000 doctors serving in different healthcare facilities across the region.