KMPDU Rejects Kenyan Government's Return-to-Work Formula Amid Ongoing Doctors' Strike

Kenyan doctors reject government's return-to-work formula, prolonging a 41-day strike over pay and working conditions, paralyzing healthcare services nationwide.

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KMPDU Rejects Kenyan Government's Return-to-Work Formula Amid Ongoing Doctors' Strike

KMPDU Rejects Kenyan Government's Return-to-Work Formula Amid Ongoing Doctors' Strike

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has rejected the Kenyan government's return-to-work formula amid the ongoing doctors' strike that has lasted for 41 days. The union's secretary-general, Dr. Davji Atellah, stated that the government's proposal was unacceptable and did not address the core issues that led to the strike.

The doctors have been on strike since March 14, 2024, demanding better working conditions, increased salaries, and the implementation of a 2013 collective bargaining agreement. The government had summoned the doctors to sign a return-to-work agreement on Monday, but the KMPDU officials failed to show up. The government agreed to postpone the signing to Tuesday to give the doctors more time to conclude discussions among themselves.

Why this matters: The prolonged doctors' strike has paralyzed service provision across all public health facilities in Kenya, raising concerns about the impact on the country's progress towards achieving universal health coverage. The standoff between the government and the doctors' union highlights the challenges in addressing healthcare workers' grievances and ensuring uninterrupted medical services for the population.

The majority of the issues had been agreed upon during a Sunday meeting, and the government was hopeful that a deal would be signed to see the doctors resume work. However, the KMPDU has not accepted the government's proposal, which includes a Ksh.70,000 offer for medical interns instead of the Ksh.206,000 set in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on doctors' labor terms.

Atellah stated that the union will not compromise until the issue of posting interns is fully addressed, saying, "Interns are the most vulnerable in the community and the KMPDU is not willing to compromise on that demand." The doctors accused the state of exaggerating the progress made in the negotiations.

The government has allocated Ksh6.1 billion to address the concerns raised by healthcare workers, with Ksh2.4 billion out of the total amount set aside for the compensation of medical interns at a monthly rate of Ksh70,000. Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha confirmed that the ministry has received the funds for internship payments until June 2024.

Despite the government's efforts, the doctors have continued their strike, paralyzing healthcare across the country. Nakhumicha revealed that the government intends to appeal to the court to review the orders issued as the healthcare workers' strike <a href="

Key Takeaways

  • Kenyan doctors' union rejects govt's return-to-work formula, demands unmet issues.
  • Doctors' strike paralyzes public health services, impacting universal health coverage.
  • Govt offers Ksh70k for interns, but union demands Ksh206k as per 2017 CBA.
  • Govt allocates Ksh6.1bn to address concerns, but doctors continue strike.
  • Govt plans to appeal court orders as healthcare workers' strike persists.