, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Doctors are up in arms again barely two months since they called off a crippling two-week strike, this time accusing the governing of stalling negotiations on their grievances.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) says the government was yet to convene meetings of a taskforce that was set up to address the medics’ demands in December last year.
KMPDU chairman Victor Ngani told Capital News that the government has so far only implemented the initial offer of extraneous allowances whose net amount was Sh30,000.
He accused the government of pussyfooting, saying it had hoodwinked doctors to resume duty.
“The government should just be serious about implementing what it says it will do. You cannot give your word and then don’t keep it. This is a trend we have seen over and over again. A union goes back to work and one or two months down the line they are already complaining,” he pointed out.
“It seems to be a very bad habit that just needs to stop. It also makes it very difficult for us as a union to listen to the government,” he complained.
KMPDU is now demanding action from the government to address the myriad issues affecting the Kenyan health sector.
“The last time that the government demonstrated any intent to solve the issue that we had was December 14th when we were on strike and we sent an eleven point return-to-work formula,” he said.
“As of Saturday, only one had been fulfilled and that was the one that required doctors to go back to work and we did. The same week, they stopped salaries for 56 doctors. We had just negotiated the reinstatement of their salaries during the strike.”
Doctors called off a 10-day strike in December after the government agreed to meet some of their pay demands and formed a taskforce to negotiate the grievances raised by the medics.