Go back to work before further talks, gov’t tells doctors

Manoah Esipisu
State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu addressing the presss. Photo/FILE

The government has reiterated its position that it would not negotiate with the striking doctors until they go back to work.

Speaking during his weekly press briefing in Mombasa on Sunday, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu thanked the doctors that have so far gone back to work, adding that the president’s resolve and message remain the same.

“The President, as you know, directed that all doctors on strike resume duty effective immediately before any further negotiations could be convened in respect of remuneration and any other welfare issues,” he said.

Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr Cleopa Mailu, on Friday directed Registrars at Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to report for deployment immediately or face disciplinary action.

Mailu further insisted that all doctors who refuse to return to work will be sacked and disciplinary action taken against them, starting with those stationed to KNH and MTRH.

The Health CS appealed to doctors who are yet to report to their respective work stations to do so as directed by the government for the benefit of the patients who rely on public health services.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, March 7, termed the demands by doctors as blackmail, saying that what the medics are demanding in their 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement is too high and cannot be achieved overnight.

“Doctors have our respect, but we also need to clarify about the consequences of their strike,” said President Kenyatta.

Speaking during the Fourth Devolution Conference in Naivasha, the Head of State further warned the striking medics of consequences should the ongoing mediation process fail.

“If this round they are engaged with religious leaders fail, we will be in a bit of a problem with them,” warned Kenyatta. “This is blackmail and we are not going to entertain it.”

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