The Nairobi county government has announced plans to start recruiting new doctors this week to replace those on strike.
According to Governor Evans Kidero, the striking doctors have continued to abscond duty even after the strike was declared illegal by the courts as patients continue to suffer.
“The doctors continued striking despite the court declaring it illegal. Anyone that does not resume work should know that they stand sacked,” said Kidero, adding that the county will not be paying doctors their December salaries as a disciplinary measure.
The new doctors are expected to be recruited as locum medics pending the resolve of the stalemate between striking doctors and the government that has paralyzed operations in public health sectors since December last year.
Doctors have refused to bow down to the governments threats to either resume work or get sacked and have insisted that they will only call off the strike only after the government implements the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2013.
Last week, Justice Helen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court issued an arrest warrant on officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) for contempt of court (Read more…) after they allegedly defied a court order barring them from calling a nationwide doctors strike.
Lawyer Mutula Kilonzo Jnr has condemned the court’s ruling to declare the strike illegal saying that “The Contempt of Court Order is in bad faith and in complete ignorance of all the previous agreements”.
“The CBA executed by Ministry of health and Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists union on 27th June 2013, was to be Registered (90 )days after the Judgement issued on 6th October 2016 by Justice M. Mbaru .
The judgement further reiterated that no party shall act to frustrate the union pursuant to the orders issued.
A Judge of concurrent Jurisdiction purportedly held that the same CBA is unenforceable and proceeded to hold the officials in contempt of Court.
The return to work formula leading to the above CBA was signed on 12th December 2011, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, now President of Kenya.
We have a bad culture of dishonoring political agreements.
The Contempt of Court Order is in bad faith and in complete ignorance of all the previous agreements,” Mutula posted on Facebook.
The striking doctors have also taken to social media to educate the public on the components of the CBA, disproving the government’s narrative that it’s all about the 300 per cent salary increment.
Below is one of the posts that have been circulating on social media;
|What is CBA? It’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of June 2013 by/for Kenyan Doctors.
|What does it mean for you?
|6 major things the CBA covers that are extremely important
|1. Every Kenyan doctor’s right to be a member of & be represented by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union (KMPDU) as per Article 41 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
|2. The schemes & terms of service for all doctors in Kenya including:
|a. Procedures on recruitment, promotions, transfers, resignation, and termination
b. Policies on Training, Internship, Career development & Research meaning more Doctors & Medical Specialists at a hospital near you.
|i. More specialists in your COUNTY so you don’t have to travel to Nairobi/Eldoret or abroad for treatment
ii. Increased access to and reduced cost of quality treatment
iii. More specialists to run the KSh. 38.5b MES Project equipments GOK procured that are currently lying idle in most of the 94 hospitals they were installed in
|3. Remuneration of doctors:
|a. Better pay means more doctors available all the time at a public hospital near you
b. Less brain drain in terms of doctors leaving for greener pastures
c. Less traffic as doctors will not be rushing from one hospital to another
|4. Better employment conditions for doctors in the public sector including:
|a. The necessary drugs, medical supplies & equipment to serve Kenyans better
b. Addressing the current shortage of doctors by training & employing more thus hopefully achieving WHO standards in our lifetime
c. Rational deployment of doctors to where they are needed most
d. Housing, transport & security for doctors so they’re not afraid of working in remote areas
|5. Employment benefits eg health insurance, workmans compensation, professional indemnity, and retirement benefits
|6. Disciplinary procedures including:
|a. Employee-employer grievances & arbitration
b. Issues of medical malpractice & negligence
|In short, the Doctors CBA means many happy doctors working at a hospital near you for a healthy working nation.
|So it’s not all about money, it’s about much more…