The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has threatened to sue the government over its failure to end the nurses’ strike that has left several people dead and services paralysed in public hospitals.
In a hard-hitting statement, FIDA Kenya chairperson Josephine Mong’are said the action is to protect the women and children of Kenya.
“It is extremely disheartening to see the nurses go on strike at a time when the country is yet to heal from the doctors’ strike that ended three months ago,” said Ms Mong’are.
She went on: “FIDA Kenya is disturbed by the inefficient approach with which the government continues to address the problems in the health sector.
“Ordinary citizens, who diligently pay taxes, are often left helpless and desperate for health services. Maternal and Child Health Care is the most affected. No woman should die while giving life.”
The federation took issue with the rate at which collective bargaining agreements (CBA) in healthcare services are losing their value.
It said the CBAs are increasingly becoming a public gimmick meant to deceive Kenyans and a ploy to postpone problems.
“One is left to wonder whether all relevant stakeholders are usually involved and whether the right technical expertise is put in place during CBA negotiations.
“It is becoming unbearable to be treated to blame games by the different stakeholders. The Government of Kenya owes it to its citizens to put an end to the … CBAs that lead to hundreds of lives being lost,” said the chairperson.
She reminded the government that it has a constitutional responsibility to protect the right to life and provide the highest attainable healthcare for Kenyans.
“We call upon the President and his government to take a decisive action to end the strike and restore the public health care system,” added Ms Mong’are.
The nurses’ strike entered its third day on Wednesday, with over 25,000 nurses boycotting work.