Kenyan Doctors Unswayed by Government’s Attempt to End Strike

Kenyan Doctors Unswayed by Government's Attempt to End Strike
BBC

Kenyan Doctors Unswayed by Government’s Attempt to End Strike

Doctors employed in public hospitals in Kenya have rejected a government proposal aimed at resolving a protracted strike that has disrupted healthcare services for several weeks.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) initiated the strike on March 14, citing grievances such as unpaid salary arrears and delays in the deployment of medical interns by the government.

In a late-night announcement on Tuesday, the government urged the doctors to end their strike, asserting that outstanding salary arrears had been settled and that medical interns would commence work starting Thursday of the same week.

However, KMPDU Chairman Abidan Mwachi promptly dismissed the government’s overture, declaring the union’s rejection of the proposals. Mwachi emphasized on social media platform X that the government’s offer failed to uphold a collective bargaining agreement reached in 2017 during a previous doctors’ strike that endured for three months.

The doctors’ resolute stance underscores the deep-seated frustrations and grievances within the medical community regarding systemic issues such as salary payment delays and unmet contractual obligations. Despite the government’s assurances, the failure to honor past agreements has eroded trust and exacerbated tensions between healthcare professionals and authorities.

As the strike persists, the consequences for patients and the healthcare system are increasingly dire, with the absence of essential medical services exacerbating an already strained healthcare infrastructure. The impasse between the government and doctors underscores the urgent need for sustained dialogue and concrete action to address the root causes of dissatisfaction within the medical profession and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of healthcare services to all Kenyans.

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