KMPDU’s Davji Atellah rejects govt offer on doctors’ strike

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 17:50 | By
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah. PHOTO/Atellah(@Davji)/X

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah has voiced dissatisfaction with the government over its failure to post interns.

In a statement on X on Tuesday, April 23, Atellah addressed the government urging them to reconsider their stance on the issue.

He acknowledged that the government had earlier announced that it had resolved most of the demands brought forth by medics except the posting of interns.

The KMPDU boss noted that interns are the most vulnerable in the community and that the organisation was not willing to compromise on that.

"Dear Government, the doctors are saying that since you have publicly said that you conceded to 18 of our 19 demands (except internship), kindly take back the 18 and give us the 1. As a community, we are not used to abandoning the most vulnerable, and to us, interns are currently very vulnerable," Atellah wrote.

Atellah's remarks follow a recent announcement by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, who disclosed that the government had earmarked Ksh6.1 billion to address the concerns raised by healthcare workers.

Doctors across the country have been staging protests for over a month, decrying the government's failure to fulfil its promises regarding the posting of medical interns and the implementation of a 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Doctors demand resolved?

Earlier, Nakhumicha announced that the government had allocated Ksh6.1 billion to address the demands raised by healthcare workers.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, April 23, Nakhumicha revealed that despite the impasse being resolved, doctors have continued their strike paralysing healthcare across the country.

The CS noted the government's intention to appeal to the court to review the orders issued as the healthcare workers' strike hits hard.

"We have received Ksh6.1 billion for settlement of the issues raised by the doctors. Follow-up to the doctor’s refusal to call off the strike, we have instructed our counsel to move to court and file the status report as to what we had agreed on and initiated as a return-to-work formula. Equally, we are asking our council to appeal to the court to review the orders that had been issued initially, so that we can take the necessary actions to ensure that Kenyans continue to enjoy healthcare services," she noted.

Nakhumicha says out of the amount, Ksh2.4 billion will be used for the payment of medical interns at the Ksh70,000 monthly rate.

"The Ministry of Health has got Ksh.3.5 billion salary arrears accrued from 2017 to 2024 June, which will be paid in five instalments. Besides, the ministry has allocated Ksh200 million for the payment of postgraduate arrears for doctors who have done speciality training. We have received Ksh2.4 billion for payment of medical interns at the Ksh70,000 monthly rate which was still available until the end of the 2023/2024 financial year in June when review negotiations can be held."

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