Doctors set to down tools in the next five days

The pain of the just ended Nurses Strike is still fresh in the minds of Kenyans. Or is it? But did you know that more suffering may again hit patients should doctors go as per their directive? This time round, Nyanza region is the one to be affected. A doctors’ union has given the county government five days to constitute a team to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or they down their tools.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) wants the county administration to constitute a CBA implementation inauguration committee failure to which it will issue a strike notice.

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County governments and KMPDU signed the CBA in July 2017, which demanded that every county constitutes an inauguration committee that will be instrumental in the implementation of the CBA.

The committees are to be chaired by county secretaries.Yesterday, KMPDU Nyanza chairman Kevin Osuri said all the counties were holding CBA implementation meetings, except Siaya.

Osuri said progress has been reported in six counties in Nyanza, with continuous meetings between union representatives and county officials.

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“We demand that the committee is formed as soon as possible or else we will register an industrial dispute with the Ministry of Labour,” he said.

The medic explained that the union secretary of the branch had written to the county secretary, demanding a CBA implementation meeting within two weeks.“A week has elapsed since we wrote the letter, they now have one week to act as demanded,” added Osuri.

The CBA has clauses which cover but not limited to promotion and study leave.Matters of disciplinary procedures and general working conditions of doctors in the counties and the implementation of the basic salary upgrade are also included.

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The official said Homa Bay had held inauguration meetings and meetings were also ongoing in Kisii, Migori, Kisumu and Nyamira counties.The CBA has a lifeline of four years and there are only two years left before it expires.“If it is not implemented in full by the county, we foresee a very unfortunate scenario which might lead to industrial dispute,” he said.

Osuri said the human resource is poorly managed by the county administration, alleging that officials do not understand the dynamics that go around health issues.

He observed that the region has acute shortage of doctors and specialists, adding that Homa Bay has one doctor paediatrician for a population of 1.5 million while Siaya has 73 doctors covering a large area.

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