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More misery as private doctors set to go on strike

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The health crisis in Mombasa County will be compounded as doctors in private facilities are set to start their strike today.

Private doctors last week threatened to down their tools in private hospitals if the county does not rescind its decision to sack 86 public hospital doctors.

They had also given the Council of Governors (CoG) until today to sign the Return-to-Work formula, something that has not been done.

Kenya Medical Association Mombasa Division chairperson Ibrahim Matende said that “it is unfair to subject the poor to suffering in government hospitals while their leaders are enjoying medical services in private facilities.”

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda was among the 86 doctors who were sacked by the county.

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The county said Mwachonda and his colleagues were dismissed from service on account of gross misconduct, for failing to return to work. Doctors’ strike has lasted for a month now in Mombasa.

Apart from doctors, about 800 nurses in Mombasa are also on strike after talks between Kenya National Union of Nurses and the county failed to bore fruits three weeks ago.

Senate intervention

The Senate has since tasked Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki to arbitrate the impasse between the county and the health workers.

County Secretary Joab Tumbo said that negotiations are ongoing but a compromise has not been reached yet.

The county has advertised 25 vacancies to replace the sacked doctors. Mombasa County Public Service Board Chairperson Farida Abdalla says sacked doctors will be allowed to re-apply for their positions if the union returns to negotiations.

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