, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Talks between the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union and Ministry of Health officials are set to resume Tuesday, after the parties took a break due to failure to reach a consensus.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) who have been spearheading the talks threatened to make a report to the Court of Appeal if there will be no change by the end of the day.
They also indicated that the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) expressed their frustration at the offer tabled by the government, despite them having revised their demands downwards on two occasions in the last week.
Doctors have been on strike since December 5 last year, and are pushing for better pay and improved working conditions, among other things.
The Court of Appeal granted the KNHCR and LSK mediation team seven more days to bring the 85-day doctors’ strike to an end.
The mediators through lawyers James Orengo and Orao Obura reported that progress had been made on a number of issues, but asked for the seven days to resolve what remains contentious.
While the Council of Governors and the National Government did not oppose the application, they expressed different views on how much more time should be given to the alternative dispute resolution mechanism.
The Council of Governors argued that two days were sufficient, while the National Government was of the opinion that three days were sufficient and if no resolution was reached at that stage, the matter should be decided by the courts.
The Court of Appeal judges while noting that the issue before them was literally life or death granted the mediators’ prayer for seven more days but with the provision that they were free to return to court with a progress report sooner.