The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) on Wednesday condemned the dismissal of 86 doctors in Mombasa County over what County Executive Jeizen Faruk had termed as gross misconduct.
Through a statement, KMPDU argued that all the 250 doctors in Mombasa have been on strike since December 2 for non-implementation of the CBA 2017-2021 and failure to honour the return-to-work formula signed on October 2, 2020 between KMPDU Coast Branch and the county regarding promotions, career progression, failure to remit statutory and third-party deductions and persistent salary delays.
“The strike action was a last resort after the Union followed all the laid down procedures as per the labour laws and the constitution in an attempt to resolve issues affecting its members.
“This is a demonstration of the brinkmanship approach that county governments are now employing on the welfare of doctors in the country,” read the letter in part.
KMPDU demanded the immediate reinstatement of the doctors and called for the establishment of a Constitutional Health Service Commission to bring sanity to the health sector.
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Among those sacked was acting KMPDU secretary Dr Mwachonda Chibanzi and other senior specialists.
In a letter signed by Faruk, the doctors were ordered to surrender all the property belonging to the county government to their superiors.
“Following the correspondences shared between the Department of Health and the County Public Service Board on doctors’ strike, the board pursuant to Section 59 (1) (c) of the County Government Act number 17 of 2012, hereby conveys its decision vide special board meeting held on January 5 2021 that all doctors who have failed and/ or neglected to return to work be dismissed from county service as provided for under Section 44 (4) (a), (c) and (e) of the Employment Act 2007,” Faruk’s letter read.
The doctors received their dismissal via emails sent to them by the County Health Department.
“Kindly ensure the above doctors receive their letters and immediately hand over all properties belonging to the county government to their supervisors,” the dismissal letter further read.
On December 2, 2020, the doctors downed their tools over unpaid dues and non-remittance of loans.
The doctors, however, termed their sacking as illegal and vowed to move to court to challenge their dismissal.