Lawyer threatens to sue union and ministry over strike

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By NATION TEAM
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Doctors’ union officials and the Ministry of Health are staring at a major suit after a Nakuru lawyer threatened to sue over persistent violation of patients’ rights during the ongoing health workers’ strike.

In a protest letter to the ministry, Steve Kabita said the doctors and the State had violated the Constitution by failing to end the 81-day-old strike.

The letter is also copied to the umbrella doctors’ union – the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.

“I have given the Ministry of Health 72 hours to act on the matter, failure to which I will sue the State and the doctors’ union over failure to reach a deal to end the stalemate that has caused pain and suffering,” Mr Kabita said.

The development came as more health workers took to the streets in parts of Narok, Embu and Kilifi counties demanding improved terms of employment.

Striking clinical officers in Narok criticised the government for failing to harmonise their salaries with those of nurses. Led by their chairman Henry Twala, they vowed not to resume duty until their demands were met.

In Embu, health workers led by Humprey Ndwiga also vowed not to resume work until their grievances were addressed.

Meanwhile, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has asked the striking doctors to resume duty. He accused them of maintaining a hardline stance yet the government had already given an improved offer.

“As governors, we are ready to discuss with doctors so that they resume duty,” Mr Ojaamong said.

Report by Eric Matara, George Sayagie, Charles Wanyoro and Kazungu Samuel.

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