Done deal! Doctors strike, government set to sign deal this afternoon

The agreement reached will see the citizen’s agony put to an end later today when the medics resume work, probably tomorrow, Wednesday.

 

Lawyers representing the Council of Governors and the Health ministry on Tuesday told the court in Nairobi that they would file a joint return-to-work formula in the appeals court by today midday.

And consent, they said, would be filed in court by the end of Tuesday.

Yesterday, the striking doctors removed a contentious clause that would instead see them own and operate private clinics, as was earlier a document filed in court.

The medics’ version of the return-to-work formula has now stricken off the contagious clause, which read:

“All medical doctors, pharmacists and dentists shall strictly adhere to their terms of employment in regard to engaging directly or indirectly in any other gainful employment and/or private practice as a partner, employee, consultant, director, manager, agent, associate or otherwise.”

In their renewed efforts, doctors now want the government to be compelled by law to pay them the three months salaries and arrears since December 5 last year, when they went on strike. Earlier, the government had vowed not to pay the striking doctors, as they had not worked over the last 100 days.

This means, therefore, that there are two conflicting return to work formulae between the government and the doctors, a likely thing to thwart efforts to end the strike.

Yesterday, their lawyer Philip Murgor explained that the clause that was expunged from the document filed in the Court of Appeal was “unconstitutional and discriminatory”.

Murgor, however, said that everything else in the document was agreeable to the doctors and that he hoped the government will sign the document today and end the 100-day strike.

Court of Appeal lay justices Hannah Okwengu, Martha Koome and Jamilla Mohammed had earlier given the parties a last chance to allow the doctors to sign the document.

“In light of the urgency and because of public interest, we are ready to give mediation a chance since poor Kenyans are suffering,” they said then.

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