Health Crisis Kenyans brace themselves for hard times as Doctors' strike takes effect

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The move is in defiance of a temporary order by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Friday stopping industrial action.

Doctors at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital demonstrate on September 26, 2016. Kenyans from Monday are set to suffer from lack of critical health care services after the strike notice issued by doctors takes effect. play Doctors at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital demonstrate on September 26, 2016. Kenyans from Monday are set to suffer from lack of critical health care services after the strike notice issued by doctors takes effect. (Nation Media Group)

Kenyans from Monday are set to suffer from lack of critical health care services after the strike notice issued by doctors takes effect.

The move is in defiance of a temporary order by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Friday stopping industrial action.

They are scheduled to meet on Monday morning at the the Public Service Club in Upper Hill, Nairobi, to commence the strike.

Dr Ouma Oluga, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) secretary-general, said doctors will not resume work until the government meets their demands contained in a July 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

As the strike commences, the Council of Governors (CoG) will be holding an “urgent meeting” in Westlands, Nairobi, which will, among other things, “address the concerns raised by the health workers’ union”.

Court orders

Earlier, the Council of Governors (CoG) went to court in a bid to block the strike, which, it is feared, will paralyse services in nearly 2,700 public health facilities — including Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, where most Kenyans seek emergency medical care.

play Doctors at Coast general hospital in Mombasa assembly at the administration block as they started their strike demanding for a better pay in 2011. (Laban Walloga)

 

The union said its members would proceed with the strike as they “have not seen or received such an order” and have advised Kenyans to seek medical services, particularly emergency care, in private hospitals.

On Sunday, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu urged health workers to resume their duties as the government tries to find a solution to their grievances.

The CS said the strike notice given by doctors was premature and pre-emptive.

"There is effort within the government to address the plight of health workers. Our doors still remain open for discussion to come to conclusion of this weighty matter. We are committed to address their concerns," he said.

The doctors had last month declared that if by December 5th their salaries are not paid, all hospitals in this country will remain closed.

According to the CBA, the lowest paid doctor should earn Sh342,000 while the highest should be earn Sh946,000.

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