Government statement on steps taken to resolve Doctors Strike

Government statement on steps taken to resolve Doctors Strike

After a meeting with stakeholders regarding the ongoing doctor's strike called by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Felix Koskei, Head of Public Service, issued a statement outlining the government's commitment to resolving the impasse.

Felix Koskei stated that discussions are underway to implement the outstanding CBA issues. Some provisions may require rethinking and a revised implementation plan given the time lapsed since the CBA was signed.

A key point of contention is the term "intern doctors" used for newly graduated doctors. The Koskei acknowledged that these intern doctors perform duties akin to full professionals under supervision. As such, there is a need to change the title to "junior doctor" or "foundation doctor" to better reflect their roles and responsibilities. A suggestion that the doctor's union is opposed to, as they want them to continue being referred to as intern doctors. 

Koskei assured the doctors union that the government remains committed to ensuring all graduating doctors secure placements to practice in hospitals. However, the exact number to be onboarded and timelines are still being determined based on budgetary and capacity considerations.

Additionally, Koskei addressed the delayed payment of basic salary arrears, assuring that the government would explore budgetary allocations to resolve this issue in the upcoming financial year.

The Labour Ministry's conciliation committee will continue addressing grievances, escalating unresolved matters to a broader committee for resolution. Both sides have agreed not to victimize doctors resuming duties as dialogue continues.

Koskei urged the union to return to the negotiating table to reach a consensus on sustainable solutions.

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