Doctors hold demonstration in the city of Nairobi/FILE
BY JOHN WERU,NAIROBI,31ST MARCH 2017-The government has been delt a blow after the high Court granted doctors stay orders against the government’s decision to import foreign doctors in a move to solve the puzzle of inadequate health workers in public hospitals across the country.
In a case filed by five Kenyan doctors who include ; Dr Kahindi Teddy Menza, Dr Yunasa A. Mohamed Shee, Dr Lilian Nyambeki Magara, Dr Victor Mula Mutisya and Dr Aldrin Flavian Liguyani Gulenywa, Justice Nelson Abuotha of the Employment and Labour Relations Court further ordered the applicants to serve the respondents with the petition within 21 days.
This comes barely two weeks after Kenya announced move to import 500 doctors from Tanzania in a bid to ease crisis in the health sector.
Speaking during a meeting with Tanzania President, John Pombe Magufuli at State House, Dar es Salaam on March 18, 2017, Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr Cleopa Mailu, thanked Magufuli for accepting Kenya’s request saying Kenyan doctors had indicated local public hospitals were understaffed hence the reason for approaching Tanzania.
Magufuli further intimated that the move was also advised by Kenya’s promise of competitive remuneration for the Tanzanian doctors.
In January, the government had intimated that it was exploring possibilities of recruiting foreign doctors in a bid to restore health services in public hospitals when the local doctors had downed tools.
With the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials maintaining the full implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2013, the Council of Governors Chair, Peter Munya, on March 8, 2017 during the devolution conference in Naivasha announced that the government would hire doctors from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Cuba in the next three weeks to replace striking doctors.
The strike that took 100 days and one that saw Kenyans lose their lives and thousands of patients left in despair has since been called off.