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HomeHealthCS Nakhumicha On Firing Striking Doctors: 'Choices Must Have Consequences'

CS Nakhumicha On Firing Striking Doctors: ‘Choices Must Have Consequences’

CS Nakhumicha On Firing Striking Doctors: ‘Choices Must Have Consequences’

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has issued a cautionary statement, indicating that if the impasse between medical practitioners and her ministry persists, the government may consider dismissing striking doctors.

Since last week, physicians have ceased working in protest against the government’s neglect to assign medical interns and the ministry’s failure to comply with the doctors’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2017.

However, as the strike progresses into its eighth day on Thursday, Nakhumicha asserts that the doctors are defying a court order instructing them to end the strike, putting their jobs at risk if they fail to return to work.

“They have been ordered by the court to suspend the strike; choices have consequences,” the health minister said on Wednesday night in an interview with KTN News.

Pressed on the same courts ordering the health ministry to implement a CBA, the CS defended the government, saying they have “implemented [it] to the extent possible.”


“If you are supposed to be on duty and you are not on duty, we have gotten somebody else to do the job,” Nakhumicha said, referring to her ministry’s announcement on Monday that medical interns will be posted from next month.

Asked whether this meant that the ministry was firing the striking doctors and replacing them with the thousands of interns waiting to be posted, she said, “What do you expect? I hired someone to do the job and allowed them to.”

“We have to put a measure in place; the places have to be manned and somebody has to take care of the patients so I cannot say since the doctors are on strike we will sit,” the minister said.

Up to this point in the week, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the government have convened two discussions on the issue, yet neither has produced the intended outcomes.

After the meeting on Monday, Nakhumicha announced that they had come to terms with KMPDU and that the National Treasury had approved the placement of interns starting from April 1st.

She additionally stated that her department will proceed with discussions this week, and all outstanding payments outlined in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement will be settled by the court’s instructions.

However, KMPDU officials disregarded any notion of a productive dialogue, asserting that the strike remains in effect. Additionally, they voiced opposition to the compensation offered to interns.


The doctors have been cautioned about the possibility of an extended strike due to the government’s handling of their grievances.

The negotiation table will see both parties reconvene on Thursday for a meeting initiated by the Head of Public Service and mandated by the courts.

According to Nakhumicha, doctors must engage in logical reasoning to break the impasse before the upcoming meeting, aimed at resolving the crisis that has engulfed the healthcare sector.

“This is a place of rational thinking; they have even been called to a negotiation table by the head of public service. Isn’t this the place for them to come and pour out their issues?” the CS said on Wednesday.

CS Nakhumicha On Firing Striking Doctors: ‘Choices Must Have Consequences’