NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – The government and doctors’ union officials were Tuesday working on finalising a return-to-work formula which should see full services restored in public health facilities.
“My instructions are that the parties have engaged and at the moment they’re drafting a return-to-work formula. I’ve been informed that probably before midday today, the document will be complete and once the document is complete the parties are willing to sign that document then the document will be filed in court by the afternoon,” the Court of Appeal was informed by State Law Officer Waigi Kamau Tuesday.
This led lawyer Peter Gachui – who was representing religious leaders in the court proceedings – to declare, “Praise God!”
In the agreement, the doctors want their union officials and colleagues not to be victimised as they go back to work as well as payment for the 100 days they have been on strike.
On Monday, the Appellate Court gave the parties until Tuesday morning to either enter into the agreement or be sent back to the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Kenya Medical, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga said there was hope that the strike would be called off, but only after a return-to-work formula is signed.
“We have been inching closer to a solution… we are hopeful from the statements that have been made by the counsel for the government that they have considered that document (return-to-work formula),” he stated.
“Today is a 100 days of this strike. It is not necessary for anyone to keep it longer than this. Everything that we have done has been off the table and above board pursuing rights of healthcare of people who cannot speak for themselves.”
He said the strike had already gone out of “normal dispute curve” hence there is no need to extend it even further.
“Today should be a good day for Kenyans, subject to the signing of the document,” he said. “The document that is going to be signed is the one that will take the doctors back to work.”