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KMPDU condemns CS Kuria's remarks on CBA, employment reforms

Health & Science
 Public Service CS Moses Kuria. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has condemned Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, terming his remarks on the union’s demands as, "reckless statements" aimed at undermining the doctors' movement.

Speaking to ‘The Standard’ at the KMPDU offices in Nairobi, the union’s National Chair, Dr Abidan Mwachi, declared the union's resolve to continue with the ongoing industrial action. This rebuttal comes as the medics strike enters its 44th day.

Mwachi reiterated the union's demands for the fulfilment of the  Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), signed in 2017, emphasising the government's failure to honour its commitments.

“While we were having what we thought were good set-up meetings so that we could have more engaging meetings and delve into the details, what we found out last week towards the end was another shocking move… The government side came up with a ready-made Collective Bargaining Agreement, and it was their sole intention that we would have to sign that particular return-to-work formula or nothing. You see, that is petulance,” said Mwachi.

Mwachi also laughed off plans by the Cabinet Secretary to introduce new annual contracts for civil servants.

“We should stop looking at semantics and nomenclature, the correct term should be that doctors and the rest of the public and civil servants are employed in an open-ended contract… focus on the issues at hand, as we even have floods that are ravaging and doctors are out of work,” he stated.

While being interviewed on KTN News on Wednesday, Kuria accused doctors who own private hospitals of diverting medicine from public health facilities to their clinics, while vowing not to honour the pay demands by KMPDU for intern doctors. He also pledged to standardise doctors’ salaries with the rest of the civil service.

In response, the KMPDU chair challenged the CS and authorities to provide evidence and take appropriate action if necessary, against those responsible for the criminal act.

 He also added that the CS and the government should respect court processes and civil structures.

 “Unlike them, KMPDU is guided by structures and we really do follow our structures. If they did follow the court structures, the judicial structures and legal tenets in the country, then we would have a very cordial society to live in,” Mwachi continued.

As the back and forth between the two sides prevail, the crisis in the health sector snowballs, crystalising into graves of patients who could have lived longer.

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