Hardliners In President Ruto’s Government Blamed For Collapsed Talks To End Doctor’s Strike

By The Weekly Vision Team

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has condemned hardliners in President William Ruto’s administration for derailing a possible end to the doctor’s strike that has now entered its second month. The CS for Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria is on record insisting that he will not pay doctor interns the Ksh. 206,000 they are demanding.

Speaking on Wednesday, after talks with the KMPDU collapsed; CS Kuria said that he would not do it as long as he is the Cabinet Secretary in charge of public service. “I am for practicality; I am for realism; I am not for sugarcoating. I will not pay interns Ksh. 206,000. Take it from me: as long as I am the minister for public service, hakuna kitu kama hiyo itaendelea, because what am I going to say to other people who went to school also? Nitaambia nini Engineers?” Kuria posed. “Hapana. This psychological warfare that has been going on, wadanganye mwingine, I was also an A student.” 

KMPDU Chair, Dr. Abidan Mwachi, declared the union’s resolve to continue with the ongoing industrial action. Mwachi reiterated the union’s demands for the fulfilment of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), signed in 2017, emphasizing the government’s failure to honour its commitments.

Kenyans have urged both sides to find a middle ground that will ensure that normal services return to public hospitals, especially now as there are many cases arising from floods caused by the heavy El Nino rains. “We urge the doctors to return to hospitals and save lives considering the flood situation in the country that is now causing a dire situation that requires speedy intervention from the medical personnel as people rescued from drowning may have no one to attend to them while stagnant waters could cause an outbreak of malaria and other diseases, a patient, ‘Willis’ told The Weekly Vision at the Kenyatta hospital.”

He added that the country was staring at a possible disaster if nothing was done immediately to strike a deal between the two sides, saying hardliners from both sides must give talks a chance to rescue Wananchi, who was facing a nightmare of the high cost of living and zero access to medical care.

“Another patient at the fame facility ‘Philly’s’, thinks that there is still room to strike a deal and end the devastating strike that has gone on for too long and which is putting lives at risk, especially infants and pregnant mothers.”.