The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has a issued a warning to counties in the North Rift over possible strikes by doctors due to delays in CBA negotiations.
KMPDU officials Secretary for North Rift Dr Kamonzi Mulei says a 60 days period given for the start of the CBA negotiations had lapsed yet some counties had failed to act
He says the Union will be forced to call for industrial action in the counties that have ignored the plight of doctors.
Kamonzi said medical services in some of the counties were collapsing with due to shortage of medics and other challenges related to poor terms and conditions of service.
Dr Kamonzi singled out Nandi County where he said doctors would go on a go slow due non payment of salaries for the last three months.
“We have many challenges including the fact that some counties have not promoted their staff including doctors for over ten years”, said Dr Mulei.
He said non payment of doctors in Nandi amounted to forced labour which was inhuman and unacceptable.
“We must ensure justice, fair labour practices and consumerate pay for work done”, said Dr Kamonzi.
Dr Kamonzi however said only Moi Referral Hospital, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia have so far started CBA negotiations.
“We urge that all counties fast track the negotiations in order avert strikes that have marked the sector over previous years”, said Dr Kamonzi.
On the shortage of doctors Dr Kamonzi said the ratio stood at 1:20,000 instead of the 1:1000 recommended by WHO.
KMPDU regretted that Moi University management had refused to honour several return to work deals after previous industrial actions the last one being on February 11th 2022.
He said the university had denied doctors their right to join trade unions of their choice.
The university has also accumulated 51 months arrears for doctors allowances in the health services department amounting to sh 30 milion which remain unpaid.
The union also wants the government to decisively deal with the insecurity in the North Rift which has also affected delivery of health services in affected counties.
The union noted that health care in the country was already quite expensive and there was no surerity that the proposed increase of NHIF contributions by 1.7 percent would enhance benefits to citizens.
“In summary the public heathcare status in the North Rift is disfunctional except for Moi Referral Hospital which is well managed under the leadership of CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa.