Striking doctors risk being sacked if they fail to resume duty by tomorrow.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu yesterday told the medics to report to work by tomorrow and give room for constructive engagement. Failure to do so, they said, may lead them losing their jobs.
“Both governments, national and county, have given a reasonable deal to the doctors that they need to consider. We are calling on them to take the offer and resume work to avoid disciplinary action,” said Mr Munya.
The doctors who will not have reported to work after the Wednesday deadline will be issued with “Show Cause Letters” after which they will have a week before being dismissed.
Munya said the county governments will then be free to advertise and recruit other doctors for the vacant positions including from outside the country.
“The County Public Service Board have, therefore, been instructed to apply the relevant law to commence the dismissal process and to recover money that may have been paid to any doctor who has not been working,” said Munya.
The decision was reached yesterday afternoon at the council’s headquarters following a closed door meeting between the governors and Dr Mailu.
The CS noted that despite the doctors’ unwillingness to negotiate, the Government’s offer was still on the table.
“We are willing to deliver a complete Collective Bargaining Agreement within 60 to 90 days. We are still committed, the offer is still on the table,” said Mailu.
The CS added that the increment meant for January was viable and there would be no victimisation of doctors. Mailu urged the doctors to reconsider their position in order to end suffering among Kenyans. Munya refuted claims of total paralysis in the delivery of health services stating that there were 149 doctors offering services in 10 counties despite intimidation from their colleagues.
However, 37 counties have for the past one-and-a-half months not been receiving specialised treatment from the doctors.
But the doctors’ union has termed the new development as ‘unfortunate’, adding that the Government should provide drugs and ensure hospitals have the necessary equipment and well-motivated doctors.
“At the end of the day, Kenyans should ask if the public health system is responsive to their needs, if not ask why. It is unfortunate that the Government’s solution to ending the strike is by firing doctors. Highly regrettable,” said the union’s Secretary General Ouma Oluga