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Kenya: Health Crisis persists in Kenya as doctors reject govt offer

By Editorial Desk

NAIRIOBI, Kenya Apr 4 – The health crisis will persist in Kenya after doctors rejected a government offer aimed at ending two-week-long strike that has severely disrupted health services.

Abidan Mwachi, Chairman of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), announced the rejection on social media platform X, stating firmly, “We decline these proposals in total,” citing the government’s failure to fulfill its promise to pay salary arrears.

The strike, initiated on March 15 by the KMPDU representing more than 7,000 members, demanded the payment of salary arrears and immediate hiring of trainee doctors, among other grievances.

In response, the government announced measures to address the doctors’ demands, claiming that salary arrears had been settled and trainee doctors would be hired starting Thursday with a budget allocation of Ksh2.4 billion ($18.39 million).

However, Mwachi’s rejection underscores the ongoing discord between doctors and the government, prolonging the healthcare crisis, with patients struggling to access care.

Rooted in a 2017 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), doctors’ demands include adequate medical insurance cover for themselves and their dependents, along with addressing salary payment delays and compensating doctors pursuing higher degrees while working in public hospitals.

Kenya’s health sector, plagued by funding shortages and staffing deficiencies, has endured recurring strikes.

The current standoff exacerbates the disruption in medical services, amplifying concerns over the country’s healthcare infrastructure.

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