Civil society in appeal to doctors’ union and government over strike

They said the duration and human cost of the doctors’ strike is unacceptable and that making concessions was the way to go so as to ease the brunt of the industrial action, particularly to expectant women and patients with chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Civil society organisations are appealing to doctors’ union and the government to make compromises and to step away from hard-line positions in order to end the strike.

Led by the Society for International Development (Sid), the members said however legitimate the positions of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union and the Ministry of Health, there was need for “give and take” guided by what is best for public good.

Sid associate director Irungu Houghton said the organisations were hopeful that the mediation jointly chaired by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions – Kenya and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) would be fruitful.

Ms Christine Sadia, the chairperson of the Kenya Medical Women’s Association, said the stalemate was leading to deaths, which should have been avoided. “For 66 days, we have documented how men and women are writhing in pain and some losing their lives,” she said.

Inter-Religious Council of Kenya executive director Francis Kuria called for a speedy resolution.

On Wednesday, representatives of the doctors’ union were holed up in closed-door meetings in Nairobi with members of Cotu and the KNHCR in the ongoing mediations as directed by the Employment and Labour Relations court last week.

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