The Kenyan health sector and patients are set to benefit from registration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between KMPDU, and the 47 county governments by the employment and Labour Relations Court.
According to KMPDU, the CBA addresses a number of issues that are not only beneficial to medical practitioners, but also to the patient and the Kenyan health sector at large.
It will ensure that doctors’ training to become specialists is mandatory as well as employment of 1,200 new ones every year for the purposes of better quality healthcare to all Kenyans.
With more qualified doctors in hospitals, Kenyans will be able to be attended to with the needed urgency.
The CBA, therefore, is going to save the country the more than 10 billion shillings which are spent annually to send patients to India, South Africa, and the UK for ailments that can be treated locally.
The CBA is as a result of a return-to-work formula that KMPDU and the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu signed on March 14 this year to end the 100-day strike that had paralyzed services in all public hospitals countrywide.
The CBA was signed by the two sides on July 6 this year in a process supervised by the Labour Ministry.
Kenyan doctors are held in high esteem throughout the world and well-trained doctors mean a reduction in cases of negligence or malpractice. Having a solid health services system will also help the country to reduce unnecessary foreign referrals that tend to be very expensive to patients.
The country’s annual total health expenditure is about 600 billion shillings, including donor funding and primary care of over-the-counter prescriptions before seeing a doctor.
Government input in this is approximately 100 billion shillings from taxes and the remaining 50 billion shillings from donors. The remaining 450 billion shillings comes directly from families’ out-of-pocket expenditures and insurance.
The doctors will enjoy a comprehensive cover, workman’s compensation, professional indemnity, full retirement benefits, and mortgage.
Doctors will also be entitled to a car loan scheme facilitated by the Employer at favorable interest rates as per Civil Servants Car Loan and Grants Scheme.
Interns will be adequately remunerated, with the CBA stating that medical and dental officers and pharmacist Interns will be compensated a salary equivalent to that of a civil servant in Job Group ‘L’ or its converted equivalent.
KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga thanked all stakeholders who took part in ensuring that the CBA was signed.
Oluga also expressed disappointment with the fact that nurses and clinical officers are on strike pursuing their CBAs.
“In this joyous truth, our colleagues are still out there and therefore we urge all stakeholders to expedite their process,” said the Secretary-General.
“It is not right that we are always out there on the streets, we are calling for collective responsibility,” added Dr.Oluga.
The pay is going to be backdated to July 1, 2017.