NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – Nairobi County doctors have called off their strike following a meeting with the County Government which was chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.
Speaking after the meeting, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Olunga stated that doctors had received monies owed to them and the issue of promotions was addressed.
“It is not right that doctors sometimes have to go to the streets to get what is rightfully theirs. As you all know, this has taken quite some time and we want to pass our sincere sympathies to the public,” he stated. “We want the public to understand that we too are Kenyans and that we are fighting a cause for them.”
He emphasised the need for doctors to be well remunerated so that they can offer high quality services to patients.
“We are fighting a cause for them so that when services resume, they are treated with the best of intentions and the highest available standards. This is because it is important that doctors give services when they are very well motivated. That motivation may not come if you have not received your salary for a number of months,” he said.
He expressed hope that City Hall will honor all the agreements reached during the meeting.
“Restoring employee relations actually goes beyond signing a return-to-work agreement. Restoring trust goes beyond signing a document. Trust is restored when each one of us fulfils our mandates not just to each other but to the public because the public exists to get services,” he stated.
“As of today, we are in a good mood because we have come to an agreement with the county. We want to sincerely thank the county because they have worked effortlessly to come to this agreement. However, beyond this agreement is the fulfilment of the things that we have talked about,” he said.
KMPDU Nairobi branch chairman Thuranira Kaugiria said the strike started when the county failed to implement a Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year following a countywide strike.
He emphasised the need for the county to honour the agreement reached so that the situation does not recur.
Thuranira said the union wants doctors still on probation to be employed on permanent terms and had indicated that 128 doctors have not been promoted since 2011.
The doctors also wanted their salaries paid on the fifth day of every month.
Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke assured them that all the contentious issues have been addressed and measures put in place to avoid a repeat.
“We have all agreed on everything that had a problem and doctors have said that they are going back to work as all the issues that were disturbing them have been discussed and resolved,” he stated.
Besides unpaid salaries and delayed promotions, the doctors had been worried about the county’s failure to remit their NHIF deductions for the last eight months.