Medical Practitioners Declare Nationwide Strike, Outline Demands

March 5, 2024

Doctors on Monday, March 4 issued a seven-day strike notice, setting a deadline for the government to resolve all pending issues of contention by Sunday midnight; failure to do so will result in a nationwide strike beginning next Monday.

On Monday, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) organized a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi. The protest aimed to express discontent, particularly regarding the shooting of their Secretary General, Davji Atellah, by the police during a similar demonstration in Nairobi last week.

The Union emphasized the need to address crucial concerns, such as the posting of interns, promotions, medical cover, payment of postgraduate fees, study leaves, and pension. The decision was reached following a meeting of the National Advisory Committee Council on Sunday.

On Monday, Deputy Secretary General Dennis Miskellah stated that the initial plan was to issue the strike notice in June. However, recent events, including the injury of SG Davji Atellah during protests held last Thursday, prompted the decision to expedite the process.

“We have agreed to do our nationwide strike starting Sunday next week,” Miskellah said.

He added; “We are going to give a seven-day notice today then we will do our nationwide strike to ensure that every single issue we have fought for from promotions to medical cover, internship, pension, study leaves and school fees and issues around the SG must be addressed.”

KMPDU says there are 1,215 medical interns awaiting posting, some having waited for either six months or a year.

During a meeting between the unions and the Ministry of Health on January 22, an agreement was reached that all interns would be posted by the end of February. However, the ministry contends that funds have not been released by the Treasury.

In a subsequent meeting between the union and the affected interns on February 20, they set a deadline of March 1 for the ministry to ensure all interns receive their posting letters. The union warned that if the government fails to meet this deadline, doctors nationwide will initiate a go-slow.

“We have been on a go slow today (Monday) it culminates in a nationwide protest from KMA to the Ministry of Health and the Interior Ministry to protest how 25 interns were hurt last week,” Miskellah said.

“We had intended to do this strike in June but they have made us to bring it forward.”

This comes as Health CS Susan Nakhumicha indicated that an estimated Kes.4.9 billion is required to facilitate the posting of interns.

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