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Jurists demand an end to doctors strike

 ICJ-Kenya Chairperson, Protas Saende. [File]

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya) has called on relevant stakeholders to address healthcare workers' plight and end the crisis that resulted in a nationwide strike.

Part of their recommendations to resolve the impasse include the National Treasury releasing funds owed to public and private facilities. 

In a statement on Friday, March 29, the Commission’s chairperson Protas Saende also urged the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), National and County governments, and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to dialogue to resolve the strike issue.

“Parties should approach the negotiations with clean hands and good faith for the good of all Kenyans and the welfare of healthcare workers.”

The commission also wants SRC and the National and County governments to compensate healthcare workers including medical interns, for the nature of their work.

Further, ICJ-Kenya has also recommended that all parties in the ongoing strike obey court orders, and honour their respective agreements in the negotiation process. 

The chairperson averred that fair pay will help curb the brain drain that has been witnessed in the country.

“We call upon the National Treasury, NHIF, and the Ministry of Health to ensure the immediate release of funds owed to public and private health facilities by NHIF so that beneficiaries continue to receive the health insurance they are entitled to,” he said. 

The jurists’ call comes in the back of an ongoing doctors strike since March 14. 

Medics began the strike following the lack of consensus with the National government on issues affecting healthcare workers.

KMPDU had called on the government to implement the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), posting medical interns, and comprehensive medical cover among other issues.

Talks earlier in the week between doctors and the Ministry of Health hit a dead end.

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