CS Kagwe Bows to Doctor's Demands Ahead of Strike

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    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media outside Afya House in June 2020
  • Update: The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union has welcomed the directives issued by Health and Labour ministries. However, the medics slammed the proposals as futuristic solutions to demands that need instant resolution.

    "We want directives that can be implemented as earlier as today. We want the insurance cover now, group life cover now. They cannot have a meeting without all players around. This issue ropes in different sectors, from Health to Treasury to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.  

    "Their solutions are insincere, evil and wrong. We have 10 demands that need to be fulfilled," Dr Alex Thuranira stated while speaking to Kenyans.co.ke.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and his Labour colleague Simon Chelugui have bowed to demands issued by doctors who are set to go on strike on Monday, December 7.

    Chelugui and Health PS Susan Mochache convened a press conference on Thursday, December 3, where they assured the aggrieved medics that their demands will be met. 

    The Labour CS ordered the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to release personal protective equipment (PPE) worth Ksh 3 billion to health workers. 

    He urged the striking medics to suspend the strike and to drop their hardline stand so as to allow the government address their issues appropriately. 

    Health PS Susan Mochache (left) and Labour CS Samson Chelugui (right) at a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, December 3, 2020

    Health PS Mochache added that the government will provide comprehensive insurance cover to the frontline health workers.

    She added that they had set aside Ksh 6.3 billion for the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to offer comprehensive cover to all healthcare workers and all civil servants.

    The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU), on November 25, dismissed an offer submitted by Kagwe of providing NHIF cover for healthcare workers who contract Covid-19.

    KMPDU secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda said that the health cover that was unveiled excluded doctors working in county governments, those working in parastatals and doctors working in universities.

    The union said that 188 doctors had been employed by the ministry on a six-month contract but were yet to be paid.

    The Senate also attempted to intervene by creating a new Health Service Commission to enhance devolved health services.

    KMPDU is expected to release a statement in response to the offer by the government today, Thursday, December 3. 

    Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda addressing the media on April 13, 2020.
    Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda addressing the media on April 13, 2020.