Court orders State to pay perks for non-practicing doctors

Doctors demonstrate outside the Supreme Court February 15, 2017. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Doctors demonstrate outside the Supreme Court February 15, 2017. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has on Friday directed the government to pay all doctors, including non-practicing medics, their five months' allowances in arrears.

The ruling comes after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had amended the return-to-work formula in March to exclude administrative doctors from the new allowance benefits.

Following the end of the 100-day strike, two non-practicing doctors moved to court to challenge the SRC's amendments, with the court ruling in their favour against the government today.

“An order is hereby issued compelling he ministry of Health and the Council of Governors (CoG) to pay in arrears all payable allowances to doctors as provided for in both the December 12, 2011 and the March 14, 2017 Return To Work Formulae withheld and or withdrawn from the affected doctors since December 2011,” said Judge Nderi Nduma.

“Any disobedience of the court order will result in penal consequences and in contempt of court seeking therein your detention and other punishment for you,” the judge added.

Ordered exclusion

The SRC had in March directed the Health ministry and county governors to exclude doctors not serving in hospitals from being paid emergency call allowance, non-practice allowance, risk allowance and extraneous allowance.

There are about 200 non-practice doctors in the country working in Afya House and under other autonomous State agencies such as the National Quality Control Lab, the National Malaria Control Program and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

As per the ruling, these doctors will now be entitled to a doctors' allowance of Sh80,000 and a risk allowance of Sh20,000 for those in job groups Q and above.

Doctors in job groups P and N will get Sh72,000 in doctors’ allowance and Sh20,000 in risk allowance.

This means that if the 200 medics who were left out are to be paid in arrears from January, the government will need to set aside an additional over Sh100 million to cater for these new benefits.