Kenya’s health practitioners have suspended a nationwide strike that was set to start today, January 6, 2023.
Last month, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) issued a strike notice, threatening to down tools over the government’s alleged failure to fulfill agreements in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) covering the 2017-2021 period.
On Thursday, however, KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah said they decided to call off the strike after a consultative meeting with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Council of Governors (CoG).
KMPDU said MoH agreed to some of their demands such as posting medical interns to hospitals from next week. Atellah said MoH also agreed to pay post-graduate tuition fees for medics this January.
“Today, we communicate the union’s decision to suspend the intended strike on condition that the engagement that we have had over the last two weeks is entered as a consent before a court of law and the government compelled to fulfill within the timelines as they have promised 60 days,” said Atella.
Dr Atellah, who was speaking at the union’s offices in Nairobi, mentioned that they are still some way off from a full agreement.
“We are far from having an agreement, but we are willing to give dialogue a chance. We extended an olive branch to the government to enter into the engagement with goodwill,” he said.
Some of the grievances Kenyan medical want the State to address are non-remittance of statutory deductions, insurance premiums and comprehensive medical cover for doctors, adequate pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies, creating of a centralised human resource management, allowances for medical practitioners in universities, car loans and house mortgages and employment of doctors on permanent and pensionable terms.