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State must act to end doctors' strike

UREPORT
By Jane Kendi | March 10th 2017

The step taken by the board of Alliance High School to apologise to parents whose sons were bullied is bold. I wish our Government would be as quick to address the doctors' strike with the same seriousness.

Why do we have hiccups in resolving the deadlock between the doctors' union and the Government?

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said it was not their wish to see Kenyans suffer but the strike is the result of the Government's failure to keep its promise.

The doctors are very ready for negotiations but an agreement can't be reached when changes are made to whatever was agreed on.

In 2013, the Government agreed to a salary increment for doctors, dentists and other medical professionals.

The agreement was also intended to bolster the country's public health system, setting aside money to fund medical research and provide doctors with ongoing training to improve their skills.

It would also create 400 new residency positions, establish overtime pay, create a grievance procedure for equipment shortages and hire 1,200 new doctors each year for four years to address the severe nationwide shortage.

In 2015, more than a quarter of the national budget went missing entirely and only one per cent was spent legally.

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Parliamentarians now earn about $5,000 (Sh512,500) per month in perks hence their ranking as the second most highly paid politicians in the world.

Why then should the Government paint doctors as unethical by claiming that they are being unreasonable by wildly exaggerating their demands while giving erroneous information about what the agreement entailed?

Why should the standoff drag on this long? Is it because our leaders can leave the country using our taxes?

The Government should act towards resolving this matter.

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