Local News

Government Is Ready For Dialogue With Doctors- CS Nakhumicha

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has asked doctors to abandon their plans for a strike and give room for dialogue to resolve challenges facing the health sector.

CS Nakhumicha who acknowledged delays in the hiring of over 1,200 medical interns said the ministry was working on modalities to ensure the issue is addressed and pleaded for patience as some of the issues can only be addressed through stakeholder engagement with other government agencies.

Doctors issued a seven-day strike notice on Monday to protest delays in hiring of medical interns and poor working conditions.

Nakhumicha who presided over the flagging off of cold chain equipment for vaccine storage to the counties donated by UNICEF and GAVI has urged doctors to withdraw the strike notice and come to the negotiation table.

“Allow a discussion and conversation to take place as I have said there are very many things we need to discuss so a strike will not resolve, a solution will only be found when we sit at the table and discuss as all stakeholders,” she said.

The Cabinet Secretary says some of the issues raised by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union will require input from counties, the Treasury, the Ministry of Labour, Salaries and Remuneration Commission, and the Public Service Commission before they are implemented and urged doctors to be patient.

“Mine is to ask for their patience as we finalize that from the meeting they had with the PS I am going to get a brief, we will find a way forward … One of the important pillars of UHC is health workers so there is no way I can ignore them, there is no way the Ministry will ignore them,” said the CS.

While acknowledging the delay in posting over 1,200 medical interns which is one of the main agenda in the strike notice, the Cabinet Secretary said the issue is being worked on as the problem has been persistent over the years due to lack of investment in the health sector.

“The facilities must have equipment that these interns will use, these facilities must have health commodities that these interns will use, so there are very many things that need to be prepared and be available for us to have interns to be posted and for them to acquire the knowledge that they so need that internship program for,” Nakhumicha noted.

Nakhumicha is hopeful that they will have an agreement with KMPDU officials before the lapse of the seven-day strike notice that was issued … Other healthcare unions including clinical officers and nurses had also issued a 14-day notice for the government to address their issues or else join the doctors in their strike.

Some of the other issues they want to be addressed include the harmonization of all contracts under the Ministry of Health and County governments, promotions and absorption of the Universal Health Coverage staff hired on a contract basis.


By Matildah Obaigwa


Comment here

instagram default popup image round
Follow Me
502k 100k 3 month ago