Kenya Medical Association announces closure of private hospitals as health crisis deepens

The move is in solidarity with doctors after their union officials were sentenced by the Labour and Industrial Relations Court to one month in jail after they failed to call off their strike.

Dr Joy Mugambi, flanked by regional members of the Kenya Medical Association, addresses journalists in Nakuru on February 13, 2017. The association announced the closure of all private health facilities for 24 hours.

The move is in solidarity with doctors after their union officials were sentenced by the Labour and Industrial Relations Court to one month in jail after they failed to call off their strike.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Monday evening in a tweet said that specialist doctors were going to withdraw their services from all hospitals for 24 hours as directed by KMA.

They said that doctors in private and faith based organizations had resolved to join them in the struggle for better healthcare for all.

2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement

The medics said that stalemate will only be resolved through the implementation of the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed by the Government and KMPDU Secretary on June 27, 2013 stated a 300% pay hike to all medical practitioners.

The agreement also included a review of job groups, promotions, deployment as well as the annual recruitment of 1,200 doctors annually to reduce the doctor patient ratio to 1: 16000 Kenyans.

Non-practicing allowance would have remained at between Sh12, 000 to Sh60,000 per month.

The CBA provided that all doctors in public facilities would work 40 hours per week and any extra hours would be compensated.

If implemented, the 2013 CBA would see the lowest paid doctor earn a salary of over Ksh300, 000 and the highest paid would earn slightly under Ksh.1 million per month.

The House allowance would rise to between Sh30, 000 and Sh120, 000 depending on the job group, up from between Sh20, 000 and Sh80, 000.

Extraneous allowance would range between Sh60,000 and Sh100,000 per month, up from between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000, while commuter allowance would have gone up to between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000, up from between Sh6,000 and Sh16,000.

Talks suspended

KMPDU has also suspended all negotiations with the government to end the doctors’ strike which is in its tenth week until their union officials’ jail term ends.

They have also called for doctors and Kenyans to conduct daily night vigils for the next 30 days until their officials are released.

The vigil which began on Monday at the Railways Club in Nairobi, was however disrupted by police officers drawn from the General Service Unit, Administration and Regular Police units who declared the meeting illegal

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