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KMPDU softens stance on Laikipia doctors’ strike

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) Monday seemed to soften their stance on Laikipia County after 61 doctors were sacked by Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.
The union chairman Dr. Oroko Ombegi speaking Monday at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital said the union was willing to negotiate with the county government with a view to having the sacked doctors reinstated.
Dr. Ombegi who was accompanied by National Executive Council members from South Rift region blamed the stalemate on failure by the governor to sign a 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement that would see the local doctors promoted to higher job groups.
“Doctors in Laikipia are not asking for a salary increment but are pushing for implementation of the 2017 CBA that will see them accorded better terms of service and improved working conditions,” Dr. Ombegi said.
The union’s official faulted the move by the county government to sack the 61 medical specialists saying their dismissal had worsened health situation in all the county facilities.
“The situation in health facilities in Laikipia is so bad that patients have left opting to find healthcare elsewhere. The wards are empty since there is no qualified doctor working. Those people you see in white lab coats are just quacks masquerading as doctors,” Dr. Ombegi said.
South rift KMPDU executive secretary Dr. Devji Attelah dismissed the sacking of the medics by the county government saying that government human resource procedures were not followed.
Dr. Ombegi proposed the formation of a commission to manage healthcare in the county as a way of ending the crisis.
While announcing the sacking of the medics last week, governor Muriithi said he had deployed other doctors who served in managerial positions to offer general services in all the health facilities as a way of ensuring that services moved on normally.
He said their pay increase demands could not be sustained as it would bloat the county’s wage bill.
By Martin Munyi

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