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Private doctors insist on CBA in fresh demands

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma oluga leaves Kamiti maximum prison after the court ordered for their release. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

The Government has until today evening to register the doctors’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or private and mission facilities will remain closed indefinitely.

As part of the new demands issued by doctors, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri have also been asked to step down.

Just hours after the court freed Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials, doctors revisited their never-ending chorus of nothing less than a CBA.

And this time it was accompanied by a new set of demands that included their full salaries for the last two months.

This should be done in order for services in private and mission facilities to be restored after the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) announced withdrawal of services by all its members starting yesterday midnight.

In their demands yesterday, KMA Chairperson Jackeline Kitulu, accompanied by officials of other 15 health associations, revoked Dr Mailu and Dr Muraguri’s association membership for a year, on grounds that they had disgraced the profession in the manner in which they handled the strike.

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But yesterday, Dr Kitulu said the 48-hour withdrawal ending tonight will be extended until the Government meets certain demands.

“There has never been good will from the Government on the negotiations so we will not hesitate to extend the withdrawal of services until we are assured of good faith,” said Kitulu.

Meanwhile, doctors in private health facilities in some parts of the country yesterday made good their threat to withdraw services in solidarity with union officials.

Yesterday, a spot check across the capital revealed most private facilities were open but there were no patients.

Seats were empty at the Savannah and Acacia medical facilities in the city centre and a nurse at Savannah hospital said they were not working.

The AAR Hospital, also in the central business district, was open but had no patients. AAR’s management issued a letter indicating it would not be in operation.

At Gertrudes Children’s Hospital, the biggest children’s facility in Kenya, not all doctors were on duty and those present were only attending to emergencies.

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At Aga Khan, Avenue, Guru Nanak and Mater hospitals, all departments were filled with patients who were being attended to by doctors.

In Nakuru County, health services in private clinics were paralysed for the first day as doctors sought to compel the government to find a quick solution to the strike.

Various clinics in the county were closed, with patients being forced to buy drugs from private pharmacies.

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