Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has been taken to court by Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU) over claims of terminating doctor’s employment without following due process.
Through their lawyer Henry Kurauka, the doctors say they play a critical role in providing human resources capacity towards the realization of Universal Health Care (UHC).
They are seeking temporary orders restraining KEMSA and Ministry of health from declaring redundancy or terminating their services and replacing them with members of KDF or NYS in absence of situations of disaster pending the hearing and determination of this application.
“KMPDU has about 10,000 members who include medical doctors, pharmacists and dentists, “he added.
Kurauka says that KEMSA and the Ministry of Health have undertaken mass sacking of KMPDU members of staff. The doctors have about 10 active members working for KEMSA.
He added that KEMSA has about 900 members of staff. KEMSA is a medical commodities distribution center and it will be impossible to do so if its members of staff are sent home.
“KMPDU avers that many of its members were categorized by KEMSA as non-core staff which is factually wrong. Unfair and unjust. There were no established criteria put in place to determine the core and non-core members of staff of KEMSA.
The doctors say that the Health Ministry has enlisted the services of NYS and KDF to take over and manage the operations of KEMSA contrary to the constitution and the law.
“The respondent’s purported actions are irrational, unreasonable, capricious and amenable to judicial intervention, “added Kurauka.
According to him, KMPDU and Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection were not consulted and did not approve the said intended redundancy and mass sacking of KEMSA staff.
The doctors say that KEMSA have breached the provisions of Article 241 (2) (a) providing that persons enlisted in the Kenya Defense Forces are responsible for the defense Forces and protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic. KEMSA is not in a state of emergency /disaster.
KMPDU says that on November 4, 2021 at 10.am, its members and most staff of KEMSA received emails from its Chief Executive Office, requiring them to attend a mandatory virtual staff meeting on November 4, 2021 via Zoom platform created by KEMSA.
They added that on 4, November the staff did as directed and the meeting was chaired by board Chair Ms Mary Mwadime and board members.
The chair informed the staff that KEMSA had run out of funds and had other procurement issues.
The doctors say that KEMSA issued a notice of general redundancy to its members of staff. KEMSA’s board directed all the alleged non-core members of staff to immediately proceed on a 30 days leave and work from home, allegedly to allow restructuring of KEMSA .Further KEMSA gave a few members of staff which were termed as core-staff a notification of temporary retention of services for a period of one month.
KMPDU says that most of its members were categorized as non-core by KEMSA which is factually wrong.
There were no criteria put in place to determine the core or non-core members of staff by KEMSA. The application has been supported by an affidavit filed by Doctor Davji Atella, the Secretary General of KMPDU.