Kenyan government urges end to 3-week medical strike disrupting public health services


(MENAFN) On Tuesday, the Kenyan government issued a plea to medical professionals to bring an end to a nationwide strike that has persisted for three weeks, causing significant disruptions to health services in various public hospitals.

The strike, initiated by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), comprising over 7,000 members, began in mid-March due to grievances regarding pay and working conditions.

Despite a court order last month instructing the suspension of the strike, union leaders have remained steadfast in their resolve to continue the protest.

However, the government has indicated its willingness to address some of the medics' demands. In a statement released on Tuesday, it pledged to fulfill certain obligations, including expediting the payment of arrears outlined in a 2017 collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, efforts will be made to allocate a budget for the recruitment of medical interns, addressing one of the primary concerns raised by the striking professionals.

The government stated that it desired to "resolve the current dispute and bring about a permanent end to the cycle of industrial action in the health sector" and stayed "committed to fostering constructive dialogue, addressing concerns, and ensuring the health and well-being of all Kenyans".

"With that spirit in mind, the leadership of the KMPDU is urged to comply with its obligations under the court's orders by immediately suspending the ongoing industrial action," he statement, which was signed by public service chief Felix Koskei, noted.

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