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Doctors Insist Strike Still On As Talks Collapse

Talks on to return to work between the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and officials from the ministries of health and labour collapsed on Tuesday.

Here, medics accused the government of treating the matter casually and sending lawyers instead of senior ministry officials as had been agreed upon.

The collapse mean the doctors’ strike is still on and is likely to get worse as other 8 unions are set to join them from next week.

KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah led other officials from the union in staging a walk-out from the meeting, which now means the medical crisis in the country is likely to get worse since other medical institutions have already been hit hard by the strike.

“We were supposed to meet Principal Secretaries from the ministry of health and labour to iron out our issues, but what we are seeing are lawyers sent to us as if we are in a court of law,” said Dr. Atellah.

KMPDU is protesting an alleged 91 percent reduction of medical intern officers’ monthly stipend as highlighted in a letter addressed to Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha by Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich dated March 13, 2024.

“They are even worsening the situation by deducting the remuneration of medical interns. This is in breach of the 2017 CBA agreement. We were not invited to the talks yet we are the main stakeholders. We reject it,” added Dr. Atellah.

The situation is likely to get worse since other additional unions, including the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), announced that they will formally join their colleagues at KMPDU in the strike from next week.


By Matildah Obaigwa

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