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CoG wants doctors CBA reviewed, blames political incitement for strike

 Kakamega County Executive Committee Member for Health Dr Benard Wesonga serving patients at Kakamega Referral Hospital despite the ongoing doctors strike. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

The Council of Governors has demanded for a review of the 2017 doctors collective bargaining agreement (CBA)

The council through its Health Committee Chairperson Muthomi Nuki said the current CBA between the doctors union (KMPDU) and national government contains components that are not only difficult to implement but unreasonable. 

Njuki who doubles up as Tharaka Nithi Governor said under the current CBA, about 95 per cent of the doctors have individual contracts with respective counties.

The governor spoke today in Nairobi during the Quality Healthcare Kenya Awards.

To him, it is thus unfair for the doctors to wholesomely down tools crippling the health sector across the country.

“I can assure you that 95 per cent of the health personnel including the doctors, clinical officers, lab technicians and nurses have individual contracts with these counties. In this regard, doctors in Nairobi County cannot be answerable to the Governor of Tharaka Nithi and vice versa,” said Njuki.

The governor said it thus baffles the council that all the doctors across the county governments are registered under one umbrella of KMPDU that purports to make decisions for them.

“This is the reason we are saying that the current industrial strike is more than meets the eye. The succession moves and more unions joining it points to a well calculated move that is aimed at something. We therefore call for comprehensive investigations to establish whether the strike is politically instigated,” said Njuki.

Njuki argued that it does not make sense that the CBA signed in 2017 sought for the recognition of intern doctors yet during internship they are not employees.

“Bottomline we are saying that majority of the counties are at 95 per cent payment of arrears and issues raised in the CBA. In that case, it would be less than 10 counties that doctors would be on strike and not across the country as we have witnessed,” he said.

He said county based doctor’s unions should engage governors to iron out their grievances as opposed to starving Kenyans of health-care services countrywide.

His sentiments were echoed by Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni who said the doctors should reconsider their hardline stands and get back to the negotiating table in a bid to find an amicable solution at the fastest time possible 

“On the tables they should come knowing that there is what is doable and there is what will be done later,” she said.

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