Clinicians and nurses were yesterday left in the cold as the Government met with doctors where an agreement was signed that lead to the cancellation of the strike.
The deal that was signed yesterday at Afya House by Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Labour counterpart Simon Chelugui provided a framework of how issues that they had raised were to be handled.
“The National Treasury to fast track release of required budgetary allocations to enable the counties to procure Group Life, Last Expense, Enhanced Work Injury Benefits (Wiba) and Group Personal Accident Cover as provided by the National Hospital Insurance Fund,” read the document in part.
“All the issues raised have either been addressed or there is an assurance they will be. My ministry will engage with any county government to ensure the return-to-work formula is implemented,” said Labour CS Chelugui.
Cabinet Secretary Kagwe described the situation as a win-win
“We are looking at matters not just on the table but generally on how health can be improved,” said Kagwe.
However, no official from the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers or Kenya National Union of Nurses was present.
“We were not invited and we cannot invite ourselves,” said Kuco chair Peterson Wachira. “Let us wait if we will be called.”
This leaves majority of Kenyans with no access to healthcare since level II and III facilities – dispensaries and health centres – where most Kenyans go for treatment are managed primarily by the clinical officers and nurses.
However, the Health CS did not give a clear explanation as to why they were not engaged but remained to assert that the government is open for discussions with all health care workers.
Further, he maintained that the signed document was a culmination of the discussions pertaining health issues that not only touch the doctors but also the rest of the medical workres across all the cadres.
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“On all other issues we are happy to discuss and resolve them just like we have resolved this,” he said.
The doctors strike started on Monday after it had been suspended for 14 days after an intervention by the National Assembly and Senate health committees. Nurses and Clinical officers were also not invited in these meetings that lasted for three weeks.
The Clinical officers and nurses have so far been on strike for three weeks.