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Time to cure this healthcare pain, Oluga says as he leaves prison

Oluga and six other union officials were jailed on Monday for contempt after failing twice to call off the nationwide strike by the doctors/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga has said the union is committed to finding a remedy to the ongoing strike by the doctors.

Speaking Wednesday evening after his release from the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison following an order by the Court of Appeal, Oluga said the parties involved in negotiations must now focus on alleviating the pain Kenyans have undergone in public hospitals for the past 10 weeks while seeking medical services.

“We’re not of little minds. The government is not of little minds. We must sit down, engage and come up with a solution,” he said in a brief address to journalists.

Oluga reiterated that the strike by the doctors was only aimed at improving the country’s healthcare and therefore parties should engage with sober minds to ensure that Kenyans have access to good medical services.

“The focus is to improve the health sector. Kenyans have suffered enough!” he said.

He however called upon the Ministry of Health to give fresh impetus to the negotiations with the union in order to ensure normalcy returns in public health centers.

“I think it is important that the government knows that it is time for a solution but that solution must be based on the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It is time that Kenyans get back their health sector.”

Oluga said he was optimistic that a solution to the current impasse will be found, saying both parties are capable of engaging in honest discussions.

Oluga and six other union officials were jailed on Monday for contempt after failing twice to call off the nationwide strike by doctors.

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The six KMPDU officials who had been jailed alongside Oluga were Titus Ondoro, Allan Ochanji, Hamisi Chibanzi, Daisy Korir and Evelyne Chege.

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