Government, striking doctors ordered to reach consensus

By KBC Reporters

Striking doctors in the country and other parties engaged in negotiations have been given until Tuesday to resolve paralysis in public hospitals by reaching an agreement on the return to work formula.

The talks collapsed when the government stopped any engagement with doctors who have been striking for three months now.

Court of Appeal judges Hannah Okwengu, Martha Koome and Jamilla Mohammed have also asked the Health ministry to soften its position in order to ensure the signing of a return to work formula agreement.

The situation is still murky with the National Government maintaining that it will not sign a return to work formula document as presented to the court by the doctors’ union officials unless they call off their strike.

Both the National and County Governments have however told the Court of Appeal that they are strangers to the documents.

Should the parties involved fail to reach an agreement by tomorrow the three judge bench will have no other option other than refer the matter to the Employment and Labour Relations Court for a hearing.

The government is adamant that it was not party to drafting of the Return to Work Formula presented to the Appellate Judges by the doctors.

In the five page Return to Work draft document, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union want the government to register their CBA at the Employment and Labour Relations Court without amendment within 14 days, the government not to victimize the doctors and the KMPDU union officials over the strike.

They also want all salaries withheld due to the strike to be paid in full upon execution of the agreement but not later than 31st March 2017 and that all court cases emanating from the strike be withdrawn

Religious leaders have however vowed to sustain mediation talks by engaging the Government and the striking doctors.

But even as the judiciary works towards resolving the matter Kirinyaga County government has suspended 65 doctors.

The doctors will be issued with letters to show cause why they should not be summarily dismissed in the next ten days.

The county County Executive in charge of health Wambu Miano also warned that striking doctors will be evicted from government houses.