Doctors’ strike still on but end in sight visible as parties agree on contentious documents

Doctors’ strike still on but end in sight visible as parties agree on contentious documents
  • Kenyan doctors have been on strike for 93 days 
  • What now remains is the signing of three key documents to fully settle the matter
  • KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga says they will not sign return to work formula without registration of CBA

The impasse in Kenya’s public health system that has seen doctors out of hospitals for the past 93 days is set to last for one more week after the medics’ and government failed to come to a truce on ending the strike.

Speaking as they presented a report made on progress made in the talks before the Court of Appeal today, lead mediators the Inter-religious Council of Kenya said an end in sight was forthcoming even though they had failed to end the work boycott.

The court gave the council up until Monday next week to resolve the standoff between the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the Ministry of Health.

“This court will not be sitting next week but we will ask the President to set up a special bench to hear the case on Monday,” Justice Martha Koome ruled.

KMPDU officials, members and their lawyers appear before the Court of Appeal in Nairobi on March 7, 2016. (Photo: Nation Media Group)

READ ALSO: Latest news headlines-March 2 2017 Doctors pay talks extended again as Uhuru steps in

The sticky issue that now remains is the return to work formula (RTWF) that has failed to be agreed on by both parties with the 3-judge bench pleading with governors to sign the recognition agreement as a sign of commitment.

The report filed by the Inter-religious Council of Kenya at the Court of Appeal on March 7 (Photo: Radio Citizen)

They judges ruled that the case be mentioned on Monday for the purpose of having it on record that the dispute was settled.

The medics led by KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga insisted that they would not sign the RTWF if their demand to have the contentious 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is not implemented and registered in court.

“Doctors are ready to sign a RTWF but the sticky issue of the CBA still lingers. County governments should not prolong Kenyans’ suffering,” Dr Oluga said.

READ ALSO: Reprieve for KMPDU chiefs as court orders their jail release

The clergy however said that significant ground had been made as they had managed to draft a recognition agreement that has ironed out issues such as the promotion and training of doctors and allowances.

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