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Nakuru, Nyamira doctors threaten to go on strike over unmet demands

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 26th, 2023 2 min read

Doctors in Nakuru County are set to go a strike from September 26, 2023, if the county government fails to address their pressing demands.

In a move reminiscent of their counterparts in Nyamira, the Nakuru doctors have issued an ultimatum, urging Governor Susan Kihika to implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) covering the period from 2017 to 2021, an agreement that both parties previously endorsed.

The doctors, affiliated with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), have outlined a set of demands, which encompass promotions, an increase in the number of doctors, comprehensive medical coverage for staff, and the creation of a more conducive working environment.

The timing of this announcement comes shortly after President William Ruto commended all 47 governors for their improved performance in the health sector.

Speaking at the flagging off of Community Health Promoters at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Monday, 25 September, President Ruto noted that service delivery from county governments had significantly improved compared to when the function was under the National Government’s purview.

However, KMPDU members remain resolute in their stance, preparing to take to the streets on Tuesday, September 26.

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“The CBA implementation Committee is uncommitted despite our regular requests for meetings, which is both disappointing and in violation of established protocols,” the doctors’ statement read in part.

“We demand quarterly committee meetings or as needed, as per the harmonized implementation matrix of the doctors’ CBA issued by the Council of Governors.”

In their letter, the medical practitioners decried the stagnation of specialist doctors’ careers and highlighted the severe shortage of doctors in local hospitals.

They further argued that the lack of necessary facilities, equipment, and support staff created an unfavorable work environment for healthcare professionals.

“The ambiguous contractual employment that the County is engaging doctors with, offering a salary of Ksh100,000 without gratuity, is illegal and against the CBA agreement,” the doctors demanded.

Meanwhile, in Nyamira County, doctors voiced their frustration over the unmet CBA agreement and the understaffing of public hospitals.

President Ruto, on Monday, flagged off 100,000 Community Health Promoters tasked with collecting data from households to identify disease patterns and facilitate the provision of proper medical equipment to hospitals.

Each promoter will be responsible for 100 households, marking a significant step towards improving healthcare delivery in Kenya.

“We are also embarking on the journey to register every household in Kenya, allowing us to gather information on health requirements, conditions, and disease prevalence in every part of the country. This will ensure that our healthcare delivery is informed by data, not guesswork,” noted President Ruto during the launch.