KMPDU issues update on doctors’, interns’ demands after strike

Monday, June 3rd, 2024 18:45 | By
Striking doctors protest in the streets of Nairobi on March 22, 2024.
Striking doctors protest in the streets of Nairobi on March 22, 2024. PHOTO/@Davji/X.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has convened a meeting with the Principal Secretary for the Public Health and Professional Standards in the Ministry of Health Mary Muthoni.

In a statement on Monday, June 3, 2024, the union's Deputy Secretary General Denis Miskellah noted that the meeting centred around the progress of the National Government Return to Work Formula (RTWF).

On the issue of interns, Miskellah announced that those who missed their April salaries will be paid in June.

"The current interns who missed their April salaries will be paid together with the June salary. Since the current interns will complete their internship in July 2024, we proposed that the posting of the next cohort be done by mid-June even as we continue to find a mutually agreeable Terms of Service both in and out of court," Miskellah stated.

KMPDU officials during a meeting with Ministry of Health Officials on Monday June 3, 2024. PHOTO/@kmpdu/ X.

"This will ensure that they do not lose on time even as Kenyans also continue to enjoy uninterrupted service provision," the statement added.

Salary arrears

According to KMPDU, they have provided a complete list of our members at the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour who missed the implementation of the 2017 CBA basic salary. Further Miskellah added that they have agreed to co-ordinate with the Council of Governors (CoG) on the issue of salaries.

"The Ministry of Health also confirmed that they are in receipt of communication from the Head of Public Service on the Presidential directive to reduce the payment period of the CBA 2017 arrears from 5 years to 2 years," KMPDU added.

Medical cover

Additionally, KMPDU announced that the Ministry of Public Service is processing the provision of enhanced medical cover and will be in place by July 1, 2024, when the current enhanced NHIF cover will lapse.

PS Mary Muthoni during a meeting with KMPDU officials on Monday, June 3, 2024. PHOTO/ @kmpdu/ X.

Moreover, KMPDU made it clear that the Ministry of Health will start the process of formulation of the Human Resource for Health Policy starting next week. The policy document will stipulate the staffing norms that will help the Ministry of Health define the hiring formula for 2,000 doctors.

Presidential taskforce on health reforms

The draft Terms of Reference for the PToHR are ready and the Ministry and the Council of Governors will forward the names of stakeholders that will be part of it to the President for consideration, KMPDU explained.

"Other Pending matters that fall under the Ambit of the State Department of Medical Services like the Postgraduate school fees, harmonization of terms of service in the National Referral Hospital will be discussed in a technical working committee to be formed by all stakeholders," KMPDU detailed.

"The union has the communicated to Ministry the need to fully implement the 2017 CBA before a new CBA negotiation is commenced."

On May 8, 2024, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha announced the end of the doctors' strike after 56 days. The strike was called off after intense negotiations led by various government leaders including Head of Public Service Felix Koskei and Labour CS Florence Bore.

The issue of interns prominently featured in the issues that were raised by the striking doctors. However, in the return to work formula, the issue was abandoned.

In the latest statement, KMPDU has vowed to champion their rights.

"Once again, want to reassure our intern doctors that they shall never walk alone. We are committed to sorting out their issue," KMPDU insisted.

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