Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) North Rift officials have urged the County government to pay doctors their dues.
Led by the North Rift KMPDU secretary general Dr. Kamunzi Mulee, and Chairman Darwin Ambuka they said some counties have not paid their salaries for over three months.
“Nandi County for instance has not paid salaries for the last 3 months. There is no communication as to why they have not paid their salaries. This is forced labor which is against all the existing labor laws and it must end with immediate effect,” said the North-Rift KMPDU Secretary General.
“Moi University on the other hand has refused to negotiate with the union on agreements they have denied doctors to join trade unions of their choice, “added Dr. Darwin Abuka, KMPDU Northrift Chairman.
They said as regards doctors’ welfare and working conditions across the counties, The MoH, CoG, and KMPDU on the 9th of January 2023 signed a tripartite agreement to re-initiate the CBA Implementation committees and to fast track the Implementation of the CBA 2017-2021, in order to avert the perennial strikes that have marked the sector over the previous years.
“The 60 days timeline has lapsed and only M.T.R.H, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, and Transnzoia counties have called for meetings. We want to sound a warning that the time for negotiations is over and the leadership has resolved to squarely deal with the specific counties in the language that they understand,” said Dr. Kamonzi Mulei.
“We have a burning shortage of doctors across all the counties, the ratio in some counties is 1:20,000 compared to the WHO recommendation of 1:1000, yet they are not employing. Some counties have not promoted their staff including doctors for over ten years now. Nandi County for instance has not paid salaries for three months now! This is forced labor which is against all existing labour laws. Surely, we must ensure justice, fair labor practices, and commensurate pay for work done,” he added.
They said that Moi University management has refused to honor several RTWFs after previous industrial actions in the institution, the latest being the RTWF of 11th February 2022 which the court is currently reviewing for compliance. They have denied doctors their rights to join a trade union of their choice, and 51 months’ arrears for doctors’ allowances in the health services department amounting to over 30M remain unpaid to date, yet the monies were approved and paid in other universities.
“The North Rift region has been marked by increasing insecurity concerns and counties like Baringo, West-Pokot, Samburu and Turkana have been hard hit by the predicament. We have fellow Kenyans unable to access Healthcare and doctors amongst other healthcare providers unable to reach their workstations due to growing insecurities,” the Northrift SG said.
They also spoke against discrimination and oppression by other government entities like KRA and NHIF who have perpetually frustrated doctors and the entire health fraternity.
“NHIF must pay for services offered and therefore should clear all the pending bills with the various institutions and counties so that Kenyans can continue accessing affordable and timely services. Healthcare in this country is already expensive and unaffordable! Recently we saw a proposal to increase the NHIF contributions by 1.7% but we are not sure what enhanced benefits our citizens will accrue from this. In summary, the public Healthcare status in the North Rift region is dysfunctional, there is an alarming shortage of doctors, and pharmaceutical supplies,” he said.