Doctors Issue 21 Days Strike Notice In Kenya

By Magdalene Wanja and Vitalis Kimutai

Doctors from six South Rift counties have issued a 21-day strike notice protesting pending study leaves and promotions.

The doctors have blamed their employers for failing to implement the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that sought to improve the working conditions for more than 600 medics.

kenyan doctors

The medics – through Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) South Rift secretary-general Davji Atellah – spoke in Nakuru Town after a joint meeting.

They said on the lapse of the 21 days, doctors from Nakuru, Laikipia, Bomet, Kericho and Narok will down their tools until their demands are met.

“We have a number of issues that remain unresolved and whose deadline was in July. For example, all the doctors who have so far applied for study leave have been denied the chance despite holding discussions over the matter,” Dr Atellah said.

It emerged that only Kericho county released seven doctors for further studies.

RESIGNATIONS

Dr Atellah further said most of the doctors are now frustrated as a result of overdue promotions.

“We have consultants who have been in the same job groups for more than 10 years. Others have remained in the same job groups as interns,” he added.

More than 60 doctors who have applied for study leaves are yet to get approvals from their various counties. “So far, we have 61 pending applications in Nakuru (20), Kericho (14), Laikipia (11), Bomet (5), Narok (6) and Kajiado (5),” he added.

The strike notice comes in the wake of huge doctor resignations in the region in the last years.

In the South Rift, over 100 doctors have resigned in the last two years.

The worst hit county is Nakuru where at least 40 doctors have resigned, followed by Laikipia (34), Kajiado (13), Kericho (10) and two in Narok.

REACTIONS

Dr Atellah regretted that despite a task force being formed earlier in the year to address the issues in Nakuru, its recommendations are yet to be implemented.

In Bomet, Medical Services executive Joseph Stonik said he had not received the notice, but promised to follow up on the issue.

“I am yet to get the notice and l am equally surprised, but l will follow up to have the matter resolved,” he said.

Efforts to reach members of the executive from Narok, Kericho and Laikipia Counties to comment on the matter were futile as calls and text messages directed to them were not answered.

Source: allafrica.com

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