NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Religious leaders convened talks with top Health Ministry officials and doctors to try unlock the strike deadlock currently in its third month.
The meeting that took place at the ACK Guest House was to grant both parties an opportunity to present their positions in the dispute that has paralysed operations in public hospitals.
The leaders first met with Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu who expressed optimism that a solution on the stalemate would be found.
“I am quite optimistic that a solution will come up. Today, I met with the religious leaders and listened to them. I also made a presentation and they will be meeting with doctors’ union officials later,” he stated.
The religious leaders also met with the Principal Secretary in the Health Ministry and the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) Chairperson Sarah Serem.
The meetings came a day after the Appeals Court granted doctors and Health Ministry officials more time to resolve the standoff.
They are due to appear in court on Tuesday when they are supposed to present a concrete report.
The Court of Appeal on Thursday allowed the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya to join mediators seeking to end the doctors’ strike.
A three-judge bench led by Lady Justice Martha Koome directed the mediators who include the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Law Society of Kenya and the faith-based organisations to report back to the court next Tuesday on the outcome.
Judge Koome said the matter was quite sensitive given the continued suffering by Kenyans and maybe “divine intervention” may just help.
She urged the team to make use of the two days and ensure there is headway in ending the doctors’ strike which is now in its third month.
Thursday’s report on the negotiations was also declared preliminary though the lawyers representing the government and the Council of Governors were opposed to it.