Kenya Doctors’ Union officials to be jailed one month as the doctors strike in Kenya enters third month

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Kenyan court has declined to suspend the 1 month jail term against the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) officials after further negotiations have failed to be successful.

A Kenyan court had issued a warrant of arrest for KMPDU officials on January 10th after the doctors defied a court order that called for a halt in the strike that started in December.

The one month jail term was subsequently suspended & the doctors given another reprieve of seven days to allow for the current negotiations. The jail term has been reinstated after the negotiations were unsuccessful over that period.

Central Organization of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli on Sunday urged Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene in the ongoing talks aimed at ending the doctors’ strike that has paralyzed health services in public hospitals according to the Star

“There is infighting in the ministry of health and that is why we have been unable to agree on the doctors pay. I urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and separate the minister and the principal secretary,” Atwoli said.

The doctors’ strike which is now on its 71st day, is calling for a collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2013, which forms basis for their industrial action, to be implemented by the Kenyan government. The implementation would mean a 300 per cent salary increase for the doctors, annual training for specialists, research funding and internship programmes.

Kenya’s Health Ministry officials led by Cabinet Secretary Mailu and his Principal Secretary are expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Tuesday

A recent survey shows only 33 per cent of Kenyans support doctors’ strike. Previous negotiations have amounted to little with the doctors rejecting a 40 per cent salary increment offer by the government. The offer would have seen the least-paid doctor earn Sh196, 989 (1,901 USD) per month, up from Sh140, 244(1,353USD)

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