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Kenyan Doctors Reject Government Offer, Strike Continues Over Internship Issue


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In a recent development, the doctors’ union in Kenya has refused to accept the offer presented to them by the government, leading to concerns that patients will continue to suffer.

The doctors’ union has made it clear that they will not compromise until the issue of posting interns is fully addressed.This announcement comes shortly after the government expressed optimism that a deal to end the strike would be signedon Tuesday.

However, the Head of Public Service’s team acknowledged that while all other issues raised by the doctors had been agreed upon, the matter of interns remained unresolved.

Davji Atellah, the Secretary-General of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union, emphasized the doctors’ commitment to not abandoning the interns, considering them vulnerable. Atellah urged the government to reconsider its stance, proposing that they retract their concessions on the other 18 demands and address the interns’ concerns.

The strike, which began on March 14, 2024, has now entered its 41st day, severely impacting the provision of healthcare services across public health facilities in the country. Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha confirmed that the Ministry had received 6.1 billion Kenyan shillings to address the issues raised by the striking doctors.

However, due to the doctors’ refusal to call off the strike, the government has instructed its counsel to file a status report in court and seek a review of the initial orders to ensure the continuation of healthcare services for Kenyans.

Council of Governors Chairperson Anne Waiguru appealed to the striking doctors to resume their duties immediately. She stated that since the issues raised by the doctors had already been agreed upon through extensive meetings between the government and the union, there was no justification for the strike to continue.

Waiguru warned that failing to comply would leave the counties with no choice but to take necessary action against the striking doctors.Waiguru emphasized that each county has its own HR policy and autonomy, and they had unanimously agreed to take whatever action was deemed necessary to alleviate the suffering of Kenyans.

Furthermore, she assured that the counties were prepared to receive medical interns who were willing to report and commence their training. Regarding stipends, Waiguru clarified that the new rates would not affect those who were already earning more.Kenyan doctors have rejected the government’s offer, maintaining their strike due to concerns over the posting of interns.

The strike’s continuation has resulted in ongoing suffering for patients, with the government resorting to legal measures. The Council of Governors urges the doctors to return to work, highlighting that the agreed-upon issues have been addressed, and each county is ready to take necessary action.

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