Medical

READ: Return to work agreement that ended doctors' strike

READ: Return to work agreement that ended doctors' strike”

After striking for three consecutive months, Kenyan doctors reached an agreement with the government on Tuesday putting an end to the strike.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Olunga said the doctors will resume to work immediately even as government and union iron out the remaining provisions of the agreement.

Doctors are now expected to work under the supervision of some 47 County governors, who are responsible for public health as the second tier of a devolved government structure.

Both parties, the Health ministry and governors on one end and the unionists on the other, were unanimous that such industrial action should never occur again, with Mr Munya terming the situation as painful, especially for many Kenyans, whose only hope for medical care was in government facilities.

"We are happy that the union has put to an end the strike".

Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya welcomed the decision by the striking doctors to resume work saying it was a painful process that should have also taught the medics that health is a fully devolved function.

"It is regrettable that it took so long".

"We can not fathom the pain Kenyans experienced during the strike, but we hope that such a situation will never happen again in the history of the country".

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The KMPDU union says the country has one doctor to 17,000 patients, while the World Health Organization recommends one to 1,000. "We should be able to put the bigger interest of the public first", said the Meru Governor Peter Munya in reference to the protracted dispute that started on December 5 going through the Labour Court and eventually ending at Court of Appeal following brief imprisonment of the doctors.

"It's a win-win for everybody", Oluga said.

"While we are cognisant of the undesired consequences of the strike on our national psyche and public health system, we remain optimistic that the issues raised were pertinent enough and worth the delay", they stated.

At the root of the strike was a Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed between the government and the unions in 2013.

The return to work agreement will see doctors receive an additional $560 (£460) to $700 a month in allowances.

During the negotiations, the doctors accused the government side of failing to show any good will in the negotiation process but instead threatening them with law suits.

"We recognise the attention this industrial strike has required of our leaders in the National and County Governments".



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