Senate terms doctors’ CBA illegal
Amidst the escalating public health crisis, the Senate Health Committee has termed the collective bargaining agreement signed by the doctors and the government in 2013 as illegal.
The committee chairman, Wilfred Machage, argued that no progress would be made if the doctors failed to accept the reality, but also stated that the court’s intention to sentence the doctors’ union officials could prove counterproductive.
“The major player, being the courts, should be fair. It will also soften the minds of doctors. And in any case, should they jail the doctors, who will they negotiate with?” argued Machage.
But the Senate Health Committee faults the doctors for clinging on to the 2013 CBA that did not involve the county governments who employ a majority of the health workers, rendering it null and void.
“The CBA doctors are basing their arguments on is unconstitutional. The doctors may not have the locus standi to base their arguments on that document,” said Machage
Equally, the senators want the government to approach the negotiating table without threats.
“I have information that the government has an intention to lay off all doctors and the county government the same and seek to restart employment. It is sensible on matters labour, but it is total non-sense on matters health,” said Machage.
The human cost of the doctors’ strike rises daily with many critically ill patients who were transferred home having died, and unmanaged injuries graduating to permanent paralysis.
“Mothers are giving birth in bushes, dying, and no one is listening to them,” said Godliver.
The emotional and financial pressure on families that cannot afford the already crowded private facilities is immense.
“How can a family go to register as voters when they are hungry when their son who trained to be a doctor and cost the family its piece of land is now at risk of being jailed,” he posed.
Machage now says that Kenyans have turned to quacks, herbal medicines, and traditional birth attendants thus indicating the depth of the crisis.
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