Urgent plea to President Ruto as doctor’s strike enters 21st day

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>>BY SONIA KAVULI>>

As the nationwide doctor’s strike persists into its 21st day, medical professionals are urging President William Ruto to break his silence and intervene to resolve the crisis.

Following unsuccessful negotiations between doctors and the Ministry of Health, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has called upon President Ruto to step in and bring an end to the impasse.

The standoff arises from a fruitless meeting aimed at bringing together key stakeholders, including the Head of Public Service, various Cabinet Secretaries, the Public Service Commission, and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The medics have raised 19 grievances with the top most being the immediate posting of medical interns and the settlement of salary arrears per the collective bargaining agreement.

KMPDU Sec Gen Dr. Davji Atellah insists that Pres. Ruto remains responsible for ensuring that an agreement is reached and doctors resume work.

“The government should be blamed and not the doctors just in case anyone loses their life or fails to get any healthcare due to the ongoing strike,” said Davji.

Criticism has also been directed at Governors, with claims of handling the strike with undue ego and threats. Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha has been singled out for not presenting viable long-term solutions.

Echoing Dr. Atellah’s sentiments, KMPDU Deputy Sec Gen Dennis Miskellah advocated for the implementation of the current contract before embarking on negotiations for a new one.

“You cannot change a legally binding contract, one option is to implement the CBA as it is and then negotiate for a newer one,” said Miskellah.

Meanwhile, Mombasa residents have expressed different opinions on the matter with some calling on the President.

“It is important for the President to intervene and provide an appropriate if not a long-term solution, because the citizens are falling victims here,” Shebani Makhoha Osanya who spoke to Baraka FM.

“There is a need for the President to sit down with all the relevant parties in a round table and agree on a solution for the sake of the people of Kenya,” said Peter Wairia.

Some argue that both parties should bear responsibility for finding a resolution without presidential intervention.

Meanwhile, the national government and KMPDU have been given a 14-day ultimatum by Judge Baira Mongaya to resolve the strike, despite compliance with court orders to maintain emergency services.

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