Health CS Susan Nakhumicha addresses the Senate Plenary on April 17, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Doctors have accused Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha of misleading Parliament during her appearance before the plenary on Wednesday.

Speaking after Nakhumicha appeared before the National Assembly and Senate, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Deputy Secretary General Dennis Miskellah claimed that the CS misled the lawmakers on several key aspects of the industrial dispute between the union and the government.

"Nakhumicha misled the MPS that the CBA has expired. Either she's ignorant or she's intentionally lying to the Members of Parliament," Dr Miskellah said.

He further clarified that the CBA has a clause stating that it remains in effect until a new one is negotiated, and the Sh3.5 billion owed to the doctors is calculated based on the existing CBA.

Miskellah also refuted Nakhumicha's claims that the government has been calling the union to the negotiation table, saying that they have never been invited to any meeting.

Furthermore, he accused the CS of misleading Parliament about the government's handling of medical interns, the pay and terms of engagement.

Meanwhile the union has hailed the Labour court's  order to government to hold a nationwide meeting with the doctors' representatives without any preconditions.

This ruling comes as a major victory for the doctors, who downed tools to demand implementation of the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

KMPDU Secretary General Dr Davji Atella said the judge presiding over the case recognized the doctors concerns and ordered that the issues be discussed in a meeting.

“The Judge through a fair hearing today has realized our issues are pertinent and must be discussed in a meeting and as of today he has ordered for a “Whole Of Nations” meeting without conditions from the government, and therefore we believe that that will be a pathway to have resolve issues we raise in our CBA,” said Dr Atella.

The court has also stayed all disciplinary actions and suspensions issued by various county governments against doctors who have participated in the strike.

Atella emphasized that the doctors' salaries that were withheld, the "show cause letters," and the "torture deductions" must now be paid, and a negotiation process must be initiated between the government and the union.

He emphasized the importance of resolving the industrial dispute through direct dialogue, rather than through media statements or informal settings.

"These things must be resolved by sitting in a boardroom and going into the issues that made us to go out on strike," Atella said.

The court has also directed the government to establish a plan for minimal services during the ongoing strike, which will be discussed and agreed upon during the upcoming negotiations.

Atella clarified that the strike cannot be suspended without a return-to-work agreement, as the judge's orders were self-effective and have already been complied with.

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