Nairobi doctors’ strike called off

KMPDU Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga has urged doctors in Nairobi to go back to work
KMPDU Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga in a past function

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has officially called off the doctors’ strike following an agreement that they came up with  from a vital discussion that involved Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopha Mailu, and Nairobi Deputy Governor.  

The Secretary General of the union Dr Ouma Oluga urged fellow doctors to resume duties as their grievances have been solved.

The three-week long strike has caused a lot of suffering leading to a situation where patients had to dig deeper into their pockets in order to get medical services. The doctors’ payments had delayed for a period of six months, leading to the strike. The doctors had earlier accused the county government of hoarding their money, despite their numerous attempts to try and get their due payment from the county offices.

Nairobi county was among the worst affected counties. Dr Ouma Oluga apologised to the Nairobi residents on behalf of the doctors and assured them that the services will resume as soon as possible.

Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke said, Issues have been resolved and the doctors’ goodwill has led to end the strike.

The agreement package involves the payment of one month salary and also the 5 months arrears in the September salary. The agreement has also committed the county to promote all doctors by October 7, 2016.

The Nairobi county has also decided to withdraw the court case against the union and that no doctor will be victimised for participating in the 19-day strike. Dr Thuranira Kaugiria, KMPDU Nairobi branch secretary-general, said that the county has already released the salaries and doctors have received the pay slips.

The health sector has been marred by issues of delayed payments and promotion with many arguing that the sector should not have been devolved. As of now, it’s a wait-and-see situation as the devolution process is still in its transformative stages.