The Health Workers Strike Enters Day 5
It is the fifth day of the doctor’s strike in Kenya which began on Monday December 5th. This is after the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU), stated that it had run out of patience after governments commitment failed to materialize. The doctors had issued a 21 day strike notice.
The situation has put a lot of lives at risk with many others having succumbed due to lack of treatment as they could not afford private hospitals. Doctors are demanding for higher pay and the implementation of the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This agreement would see the doctors get a 300 percent increase and a 25 to 40 percentage increase for the nurses. According to Kenya National Union of Nurses Nairobi branch Deputy Director Ediah Muruli, stated they are currently having major salary discrepancies which have negatively impacted on their performance.
The government has been holding talks with the medical practitioners trying to reach some form of agreement. Doctors have remained adamant that they will only return to work after the implementation of the CBA that was signed in 2013. Doctors’ union officials abandoned talks at Afya house on Wednesday 7th December, after rejecting the governments of KSh 50,000 (USD 500) increase for the lowest paid doctors.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) indicated that they had made progress in their talks on Thursday 8th December. Currently talks between the government and the nurses union are ongoing and the unions secretary general Seth Panyako has indicated that when the talks are concluded they are due to call off the strike.
This comes after Ouma Oluga from the KMPDU stated that all hospitals will be closed on the 13th if the issue is not resolved. Oluga further urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to be humanitarian to the doctors first then to the citizens.