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Doctors in Kisii call off strike after truce with county officials

Thursday May 30 2019

Kisii doctors

Doctors in Kisii County when they announced that they have boycotted work citing failure by the county government to implement the 2017 CBA. The strike has now been called off. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BENSON AYIENDA
By BENSON AYIENDA
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JOSIAH ODANGA
By JOSIAH ODANGA
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Doctors in Kisii County on Wednesday evening called off their eight-day strike following successful negotiations between the county government and their union.

While declaring the strike last week, the union officials said they were disagreeing with the Kisii County Government on three issues namely promotion of doctors, denial of study leaves and failure to implement the NHIF scheme.

The three issues had been captured in a 2017 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that all 47 counties had signed.

The two factions came to an agreement following talks chaired by Governor James Ongwae and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union’s (KMPDU) officials led by Nyanza branch chairman, Dr Kevin Osuri.

COMPROMISE REACHED

After the engagement at the county headquarters where several issues raised by the union were deliberated on and a compromise reached, the KMPDU officials signed a return to work formula and called off the strike.

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“We have been treated to a circus. What we have been getting are innuendos and piecemeal deals but now we have reached an agreement with the county government on issues that were in question” said Dr Osuri.

“I hereby ask all doctors participating in the strike to return to work immediately.”

Governor Ongwae has since said that he is committed to improving the working conditions of all medical staff to ensure good service delivery to the residents of Kisii County.

Some wards at public hospitals in the region had been empty as patients opted to seek services in private hospitals in the region following the doctors’ strike which has paralysed services in the region.