NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – The Employment and Labour Relations Court has directed striking Nairobi County doctors to go back to work pending the inter-parties hearing of their case Thursday next week.
This follows the filing of a petition by City Hall under a certificate of urgency seeking the suspension of the industrial action until the case is heard and determined.
The strike by Medics entered its ninth day on Tuesday and Nairobi County Secretary Robert Ayisi pointed out its adverse effects saying Kenyans are not receiving the required medical attention.
“There is no work going on during this period and as a result, this congests the Kenyatta National Hospital so we find that they cannot bear with the numbers. All the Kenyans cannot also go to Kenyatta so many are not getting the services required,” he stated, pointing out that the strike has also led to congestion at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) leading to poor Service delivery.
He indicated that the salaries of doctors who will not have gone back to work by Wednesday will be stopped.
“The Officer of Health should now inform the doctors that they should come back to duty. If anyone does not come back, then we shall take action according to the law. So we expect them to be on duty from today. From tomorrow, if you are not at work, we shall stop your salary,” he stated.
But the threat was immediately dismissed by the Kenya Practitioners and Dentists Union Secretary General Ouma Olunga who insists doctors can only resume duty once paid.
The Nairobi County Government had earlier ordered striking doctors to resume their duties with immediate effect or face disciplinary action.
Operations in County Hospitals had been paralysed following the protest in which the doctors were demanding their pay for the last six months and delayed promotions.
County Executive in charge of Health Bernard Muia had indicated that a meeting between the County Government and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union had resolved some of the issues raised.
In Nyeri, doctors who have been on strike have resumed work after talks with the county government.
The County government and the doctors’ representatives held a night long discussions before reaching an agreement that averted health crisis.