Doctors to get sacking letters

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By EUNICE KILONZO
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Nearly 4,000 dismissal letters will be issued to striking doctors staring this week, Nation.co.ke has learnt.

County Health Executives Forum chairman Andrew Mulwa said immediately after county governments issue the letters, there will be no further negotiations with the doctors, who have boycotted work since December 5, 2016.

Dr Mulwa said the dismissals come after the doctors were given show-cause letters on or around January 11 to explain why they had absconded work though their industrial action had been declared illegal by a court.

The Makueni County Health executive, a medical doctor himself, said the health workers had remained rigid in the talks even when the government was showing goodwill. He said plans were in the pipeline to hire doctors on contract instead of permanent terms.

“It’s time to reorganise how we engage with them, say two or three years’ contracts. For those who will be dismissed and want their jobs [back], they will have to apply again on the short terms, which will be in line with the 40 per cent the government has offered,” he said.

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Talks between the Health ministry and the doctors collapsed last week in Nairobi, two days after they began.

On Thursday, seven Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union leaders will be jailed. This is when the two weeks given by the court for talks lapse.

Union Secretary-General Ouma Oluga said the doctors will keep demanding better working conditions through the registration and implementation of the 2013 collective bargaining agreement.

“Please pray for us to get a solution. It has been seven weeks and it is not good, it is unfortunate and sad,” Dr Oluga said yesterday in Nairobi during a prayer service at Oasis of Miracles Church.

The Health ministry, in a statement to media houses, said Kenyans could access services at over 2,000 faith-based hospitals and at “nearly 6,000 public dispensaries, health centres, and outpatient departments in public hospitals which are currently offering services”.

Additional reporting by Pius Maundu

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