Relief for Kenyans as doctors’ end 100-day strike

By Samuel Musita/Margaret Kalekye

The doctors’ strike that persisted for a 100 days is over.

The strike ended after the Ministry of Health, the Council of Governors and the medics’ union officials signed a joint return-to-work formula, effectively bringing to an end the protracted industrial action that has cost many lives.

The deal was inked shortly after 6pm at Delta House, in Nairobi. While calling off the strike Dr Ouma Oluga, the Secretary General of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) termed the striking experience as the most difficult industrial relations in the country.

“It has been a very painful struggle. We are grateful to all those who have walked with us in this journey, We hope to restore harmony with our employers and we will give the best services. The strike is hereby called off” said Oluga.

He added “as the doctors union, we have concluded a return-to-work formula between the government and ourselves, bringing to an end the strike by doctors that has consumed the country for 100 days. It has been one of the most difficult industrial relations in the country,”

Oluga defended their hardline stance saying that doctors too had rights like any other person.

“There can be no separation between the rights of patients and rights of doctors” he said.

Governors’ council chair Peter Munya on his side termed the strike as the most painful experience for Kenyans with the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu describing it as regrettable situation that will go to the black books of history.

“What you have witnessed is an agreement between the County Governments and doctors union bringing to an end the strike that has lasted 100 days. We have just signed a return-to-work formula bringing to an end one of the most painful experiences for Kenyans,” said the CoG chair.

Munya called for sobriety in dealing with the rest of the outstanding issues noting that it was wrong for the country to be held at ransom by the elite.

“Let us be fair to each other and approach issues in a broad minded manner even as we iron out the remaining issues”

The CS said he was glad that the strike has ended. “I am glad that the strike has ended but I must say that it was a regrettable situation that will go to the black books of history.”

“We hope the situation will never happen again in the history of this country. We will ensure our best that Kenyans get services as soon as possible” stated the CS.

The deal followed intense negotiations brokered by religious leaders who brought together representatives from the Attorney General’s office, Health Ministry and the Council of Governors.

Earlier in the morning, the representatives’ were in the Appellate Court where they assured judges that the negotiations were to be finalised late Tuesday.