The signing of a four-year collective bargaining agreement between the doctors union and the Ministry of Health is a good step forward in efforts to end the labour dispute that has dogged the sector for most of the last decade.
According to the terms of the deal, the lowest paid medic (an intern) will earn Sh212,989 while the highest paid will draw a monthly income of Sh814,000.
It is to be hoped that the deal, which involves commitments by the government on issues beyond pay including working conditions, the supply of equipment to hospitals and personnel matters including the mode of promotions, will bring to an end the strikes that have cost so many lives in recent months.
However, a note of caution must be sounded.
It should be recalled that the CBA that triggered the most recent strike was signed in an election year in 2013 and later not implemented.
The government must commit to going along with the pledges it has made to doctors through the latest agreement.
Also, all parties including the nurses’ union, governors and the Health ministry must urgently do more to end the nurses strike which has caused serious agony in public hospitals.
The health sector is one of the crucial segments of society which should be spared careless handling of disputes between workers and their employers.