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May 29, 2024
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Kenya: Doctors End Strike After Almost 2 Months

Kenya’s public hospital doctors have agreed to resume work, calling off a nationwide strike which lasted for close to two months.

Davji Atellah, the union secretary general, on May 8 confirmed that doctors have decided to place their trust in the government to address the issues leading to the strike. These issues primarily revolve around inadequate pay and working conditions.

After 56 days of intense negotiations, Health Cabinet Secretary Hon. Nakhumicha S. Wafula (EGH) declared an end to the nationwide doctors’ strike. This decision comes on the heels of a labor court in Kenya giving doctors and the government 48 hours to sign a return-to-work agreement. Failure to reach an agreement would result in the court determining the matter.

The agreement, reached after prolonged discussions involving the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), all healthcare workers, and various stakeholders, signals relief for the nation’s healthcare sector.

Speaking from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Nakhumicha expressed gratitude to all parties involved in the negotiations, acknowledging the tireless efforts of Ministry of Health staff, principal secretaries, technical officers, and the Whole-of-Nation approach committee led by Head of Public Service Hon. Felix Koskei.

The Cabinet Secretary also commended the Industrial and Labour Relations court for its crucial role in facilitating the resolution. While recognizing the hardships endured by patients and families during the strike, the CS lauded the dedication of healthcare professionals who remained committed to their duties amid the challenging circumstances.

Notably, she applauded the resilience of doctors, nurses, and community health promoters for their unwavering service, especially during the current flooding crisis affecting the nation.

Addressing the underlying systemic issues that precipitated the strike, Nakhumicha emphasized the importance of implementing sustainable solutions to longstanding challenges in the healthcare sector.

As part of the resolution, plans are underway to review staffing norms and standards, enhance HRH coordination through the Kenyan Health Human Resource Advisory Council, and establish an intergovernmental task force to address unresolved issues.

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