Kenyan Doctors Fail To Agree with the Gov’t Again As KMPDU Officials Storm Out Of Talks

“We said, if we can’t discuss the issue of interns, you always said you will give us 18 issues out of 19, now, show us these things. When will they be implemented? They said it can’t be discussed. So it was a matter of coercion whether do it or do it, if not, there are no negotiations,” KMPDU SG Davji Atellah.

The document from the ongoing negotiations has been a point of contention with the government insisting that the document was agreed upon by the two parties during negotiations.

“We negotiated on 8 issues and today we have not differed in most of them except for the timelines which they said would not have any monetary consequences however we are at a loss as to why we did not have a signing today but instead postponed to Monday next week,” Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki added.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga added: “There are gains within this document, we cannot deny that they have not gotten everything that they asked for… but whenever you go to a negotiation table, you can never take a hard stand, it must always be a give and take.” 

KMPDU says the document was a draft that was yet to be signed pending the resolution of some issues that are yet to be addressed. 

According to KMPDU, the Friday meeting that ran till late was more of coercion than negotiation. Officials say the government is rigid adding that the document does not address timelines on when key agreements will be implemented and the specific number of doctors to be hired. 

“You cannot tell us that the doctors don’t have medical insurance and the government will provide it, and we ask when and they can’t give us the timelines. They are just giving us blank statements as agreement,” Atellah added.

On payment of arrears for the doctors, the government came up with a five-year payment plan but KMPDU says they are willing to accept no more than three years since it is a debt long overdue. 

“The Union has now introduced other issues but we want to remain on the narrow path of compliance. I will sign on behalf of the Ministry of Health in compliance with the court order so that whatever document we sign can be deposited in court,” said Health CS Wafula Nakhumicha.

The whole of the nation approach committee which represents both the county and the national governments went ahead and signed the document that they say they will be deposited in court on Monday as directed. 

KMPDU officials have also indicated that they will sign a different document that captures their demands and deposit in court on the same day as the return to work formula.