PRESS RELEASE; Ongoing Medical Doctors’ Strike
It is painfully disturbing that close to three weeks now since the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Union, KMPDU called on its members to join in the strike action, the National government is yet to take any meaningful initiative aimed at ending the strike at a time thousands of Kenyans remain in pain and agony as others have already lost their lives due to the absence of doctors in our health facilities.
Health is a key sensitive Sector to any nation that it wouldn’t take any government even a day to overlook the Sector and the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) now calls upon His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta to personally intervene in the matter and initiate immediate dialogue between the striking doctors and the government because Kenyans are dying in our hospitals and nobody seems to care.
By the President taking the lead as a worker number one in the current stalemate and as the single one person who presides over all our Labour Day Celebrations which are indeed government days in recognition of the important role workers play in the economic development of our nation besides thefact that the appearance by our President before workers during such celebrations re-energizes workers to re-double their efforts in nation building at their various places of work, COTU(K) has no doubt that his intervention is required nowmore than ever.
Positions have been hardened yet we arelosing lives. The Head of State is a model example in the Nation’s working men and women and his overall involvement in the activities of our country symbolizes hard work for Kenyans and we as COTU(K) being the sole workers’ umbrella representative body in Kenya now appeals to the President to take lead and chair round-table talks between the striking doctors and the government for an urgent solution.
Further, COTU (K) as an Industrial Relations Practitioner body is willing to join the parties in order to ensure that there is no stalemate in the talks between government and doctors.
Equally, COTU (K) is urging both parties to respect our enormous Industrial Relations Machinery which if properly utilized, there would be no need of referring matters to the Courts and we are also appealing to the Courts to be lenient towards the striking workers and play a reconciliatory role instead of being punitive.
We hope and trust that our appeal to His Excellency the President to intervene will be met with the urgency that is require in relation to the many dying patients and Kenyans all over the country.
Francis Atwoli, NOM(DZA),EBS,MBS