Truce at last as doctors call off strike after striking a deal with govt

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,24TH DEC,2020-The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has now called off their strike following successful engagements with the government through the Health and Labour ministries.

KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda made the announcement during a press address on Thursday flanked by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Labour counterpart Simon Chelugui.

“Today being December 24, I know that we’re all now gearing up for the festive season, as Kenyan doctors we will provide services for you in the facilities and we continue to engage. On that note, I would like to declare that the strike by KMPDU has now been called off,” said Dr. Mwachonda.

The KMPDU boss also stated that they had agreed that the Treasury would fast track funding for the doctors, further that all the union members will be provided with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Dr. Mwachonda added that no member who participated in the industrial action will be victimised, with the Labour ministry promising to mediate disputes between doctors and a few county governments.

“They will take it upon themselves to intervene, we have outstanding counties that have taken a tangent is not healthy, not just for the doctors but even for the public; Mombasa is one of them, Migori and Nyamira are others. There shall be efforts to mediate and restore normalcy and provision of services,” he stated.

CS Chelugui, on his part, said: “The Ministry of Labour is always open for reconciliation, come to the table, we will facilitate productive engagement between employers and employees. We have arrived at a Return-To-Work Formula, all the issues that were raised have either been addressed or we have given assurance of action.”

“The Health CS and I will facilitate engagements with any county government to ensure that this Return-To-Work Formula is sustained.”

CS Kagwe commended the Council of Governors for standing by them throughout the crisis, adding that “we are looking at not just matters at the table but generally improving health matters.”

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