MACHAKOS, Kenya, Aug 8 – Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua has extended an olive branch to the striking doctors and said he was ready for dialogue to iron out all the issues in dispute.
Dr Mutua said he has always been ready for open and candid talks with the doctors’ representatives adding that the lives of those seeking help from their hospitals was also very crucial.
“That’s why I am calling for a structured dialogue with no pre-conditions from either side .On my end I have no pre-conditions,” said Mutua, in a statement issued to reporters in Machakos town, through his Press Secretary and Communications Director, Mutinda Mwanzia.
Dr Mutua reiterated he was confident that the doctors’ issue will be finalised by Monday.
He instructed all committees representing his government and his office to speed up their negotiations so as to present to him and the doctors the near final agreement for any amendments before the final adoption.
On Saturday, Dr Mutua met officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists (KMPDU) at his Machakos office but they failed to strike a deal.
KMPDU National Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga, had led other officials to the meeting at the Governor’s office in Machakos in a bid to discuss ways of ending the strike.
On Monday, Dr Mutua said he was committed to improving the welfare of medical staff across the county as well as other cadres of employees.
He said the Saturday meeting was an eye-opener on the way forward but his team and the union officials disagreed on a few minor issues that can be worked on.
“After the strike is off, I want to meet consultants and all doctors as friends and colleagues in this job of improving lives to share ideas and sort out any issues that may make it difficult for health workers’ to perform well,” said Mutua.
He said he will continue to ensure hospitals are open and serving patients for as long as it takes.
“I thank the doctors who have continued working. God is a God of life and he is on our side. He will reward you,” said Dr Mutua.
At the same time, Dr Mutua said he was shocked to learn of interference of doctors’ work by some elected members and assured them that he will end the interference.
“Doctors should not be interrupted in their duty. They must be left to do their work freely,” Dr said Mutua.
He added that the union plays a very important role to represent their members ably and that why he was open to dialogue.
“I request the union to assist me, as friends, to design systems to make Machakos a model of healthcare,” said Dr Mutua.