President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appeal to health workers to return to their workstations from the ongoing strike did not bear any fruit after talks to reach an agreement collapsed on Wednesday.
Representatives from both unions who had been meeting Health Ministry officials at Afya House were seen walking out in protest while accusing the government of insincerity.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union Chairman Samuel Oroko led the other union officials in the walk-out. He said they would not negotiate until the government withdraws any court issues.
“Already the government has moved to court and we have information that it wants to arrest the union officials. And therefore, we have declared that we shall not negotiate until the government withdraws any court issues if they want to negotiate in good faith,”said Oroko.
The talks collapsed barely hours after Uhuru Kenyatta appealed to the striking workers to be considerate.
“We are all ready to talk, and we are committed to dialogue and we are sure we will get a solution, let us have mercy for the lives of the people,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was speaking when he visited Makindu Hospital, one of the public hospitals where doctors and nurses have abandoned work to demand a 300 percent pay increase.
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said that the government will continue to engage the union officials to find a solution.
More than 10 patients have died in public hospitals across the country as a result of the standoff.