Striking doctors are likely to strike a deal with the government to end the three-month impasse that has paralysed the public health sector.
Mediators John Ohaga and Kagwiria Mbogori have been given one more week to reconcile the doctors, the Health ministry and Council of Governors through an amicable out-of-court settlement.
Interestingly, the Health ministry and Council of Governors today emphatically told Appeal Judges Hannah Okwengu, Sankale ole Kantai and Fatuma Sichale that negotiations on outstanding issues could be thrashed out within three days.
Veteran lawyer Geoffrey Obura, who is representing the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), presented the court with a confidential progress report, and applied that it be kept under lock and key. However, the court returned the document to him to ensure its contents do not leak to the press.
The three-Judge bench told the parties to continue with the mediation efforts and report back on March 2. In case they strike a deal before then, they are at liberty to inform the court.
Last week, the court ordered the unconditional release from prison of seven unionists who were found guilty of disobeying orders to call off the strike.
The deal was hammered out following intense talks between lawyers representing the CG, the Health Cabinet Secretary, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).
The parties had agreed before Appellate Judges Wanjiru Karanja, Hannah Okwengu and Jamilla Mohamed that the seven unionists should be released forthwith pending the outcome of the appeal they have filed challenging Justice Wasilwa’s decision. They undertook to resume negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues in order to restore normalcy in the public health sector.