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KNH rescinds decision to sack 12 striking doctors

KNH communication officer Kibet Mengich told the Nation over the phone that the medical practitioners were required to report to work immediately.

When the paper contacted the hospital’s chief executive officer Lily Koros over the fate of the 12 earlier, she said the decision was being discussed by the board of the hospital.

The board of management of Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Thursday evening rescinded the decision to sack 12 doctors who participated in the recent nationwide strike.

On the day that the 12 and 48 others were fired, she told journalists: “Following their strike notice on November 14, 2016, KNH on December 3, 2016 wrote a memo advising its doctors against taking part in the industrial action by KMPDU (Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union) because there was no existing dispute between KNH doctors and the management”.

The union called the strike on December 5 last year and called it off on Tuesday, after 100 days.

A spot check at KNH on Thursday, the second day after the strike ended, showed that normalcy has not returned: Patient traffic was not as heavy, the casualty area was not as frantic and the wards were not as full.

Early in the morning, a Mr Kasyula complained that he had not found doctors at the renal unit, where he went to seek dialysis. The dialysis unit was operating, though with fewer patients.

The doctors were said to have stayed away, saying they would return to work after only after their colleagues were reinstated back to their positions.

There are more than 250 medical officers at KNH, a hospital with an annual outpatient traffic of more than 500,000 and 90,000 inpatients.

The doctors were, however, apprehensive of the reinstatement, fearing victimisation at the workplace. Dr Thuranira Kaugiria recalled having been bullied a few months after being reinstated in Kiambu.

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