Doctors at Kenyatta National Hospital and Mathare Hospital went on strike accusing the Government of reneging on a pay agreement reached last year.
The doctors under the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPPDU) protested over government’s inaction to implement key issues adopted in December during a national strike.
Union Secretary General Were Onyino said post-graduate fees for doctors is yet to be paid putting in jeopardy the training of specialists.
“The Government has taken steps to address some of the issues as agreed in the return to work formula but the key issues emanating from the industrial action are yet to be addressed,” said Onyino.
But Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said his hands are tied regarding salary increment. Instead, Nyong’o called on the striking doctors to embrace dialogue as they wait for the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to start its operations.
Speaking at the New Nyanza Referral Hospital, Prof Nyong’o added that salary issues are currently being controlled by The Treasury. “The commission is still new and in the transition period meaning it is going to take some bit of a time to increase the doctor’s salaries,” he said.
Addressing the Press at KNH yesterday, the medics said that some doctors have unfairly been denied promotions despite achieving the minimum threshold. The union said they signed a return to work formula to end the industrial action but the government has failed to meet the demands.
The union maintained that the Government through the ministries of Medical Services and Public Health must equip public hospitals for better and quality healthcare.
KMPPDU had also demanded that doctors in the public service be retained in order to improve the quality and efficiency of services through improving their terms of employment. The doctors say that eight months since the signing of the agreement, registrars are still being slaved in major training institutions at KNH, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Mathare Hospital.
Officials vowed the strike would go on until the report by the sub-committee on proposed payment is implemented.
By Rawlings Otieno and Maureen Odiwuor, The Standard