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Doctors: Strike on next week

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa | December 3rd 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda, address the press on 24th November 2020, at 5th Ngong Avenue in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Talks to avert a medics strike slated for Monday flopped yesterday after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his colleagues from Ministry of Health and National Treasury failed to show up.

The meeting called by the National Assembly Health Committee was also given a miss by Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Council of Governors, and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Yesterday's was the third meeting within the three weeks’ notice issued by the doctors, which expires on December 6.

On December 7, doctors, clinical officers and nurses are all expected to go on strike. The committee, while forced to adjourn yesterday's meeting attended by Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union, slated another one for Thursday next week.

Cherengany Member of Parliament Joshua Kutuny who chaired the meeting asked doctors to consider extending the strike notice by 14 days in a bid to find a resolution.

“We need to give room for discussion. We are here and we will stand with you,” said Kutuny.

However, KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda told the committee that the decision to extend the strike notice lies with the union’s National Advisory Council.

Mwachonda said doctors are still not able to access Personal Protective Equipment and they are not covered in the event one dies in the line of duty from Covid-19. “So come Monday, no doctor will be at work, the strike is still on until issues are resolved,” he said.

MP Kutuny faulted the executives for derailing efforts to avert the strike. “We have to reschedule the meeting so that the key stakeholders – Ministry of Health and National Treasury – are around,” he said.

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