KENYA: Governors to employ doctors on contract to ease work

January 2017 DailyNation; Governors said they will employ doctors on a three-year renewable contract as opposed to the current permanent work terms.

This, they said, will help them engage the doctors on a more sober manner as compared to now when they are permanent and under the national government.

The county bosses have threatened to sack doctors who have been on strike, saying they had run out of patience.

Council of Governors health committee chairman Jack Ranguma on Sunday told the Nation that even when the striking doctors get back to work, they will have to apply for their positions afresh to be absorbed.

“We are looking for a working period. We will either settle for two or three years contracts,” he said.

The doctors are demanding better pay and working conditions, review of job groups and also improved health care services in the country.

“We have learnt our lessons and we are going to engage the doctors per counties. Each county as an employing agency will engage their doctors,” said Mr Ranguma.

Council of Governors vice-chairman John Mruttu said the doctors have been on an illegal strike and that county bosses have no option but to get a way of curbing future strikes.

Meanwhile, doctors have said they were willing to continue with talks this week to end the 57-day strike, but insist that this should only happen within the new conditions — that there should be mediators and the negotiations are conducted in public — that they issued last week.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union also said they will not engage in negotiations if Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, who has led the discussions from the government side, is part of it.

KMPDU secretary-general Ouma Oluga said Sunday: “We hope the government agrees to mediation. We want the process to be open, in front of the press so that the public can get to know what is happening, because we feel this matter is being treated with a lot of secrecy, preference for the private sector and under-the-table dealings.”

As the union looks forward to negotiations, Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero has cited laxity from Parliament to end the doctors’ strike despite representing suffering Kenyans.

He asked MPs to convene a special sitting to address the issue.


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