Doctors strike: Health ministry set to post over 800 medical interns to avert strike

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha convenes meeting with KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atella and other officials on Friday, December 30. [Twitter, KMPDU]

The government says it is committed to amicably resolve issues raised by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to avert an impending strike scheduled for January.

In a meeting with the union's leadership on Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha vowed to post over 800 medical interns to public hospitals by the second week of January 2023 and facilitate their payment.

The Cabinet Secretary acknowledged the critical role of the workforce in healthcare delivery and urged KMPDU to embrace dialogue to resolve their concerns.

The doctors want the government to fulfil agreements in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) covering the 2017-2021 period.

Basic salary adjustments, creation of call rooms, posting of 800 medical interns, employment of more doctors and provision of working tools are some of the issues highlighted by the doctors.

KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah says the union is committed to the ongoing discussions with the government.

He, however, emphasizes that the industrial strike scheduled for January 6, 2023, will go on as planned if the union fails to come to an agreement with the government.

"We need to encourage dialogue in all its forms (negotiation, consultation or exchange of information between and among representatives of governments, workers and employers) and collective bargaining, which is vital to improving our lives and rights.

"But we are not limited to that, as the most valuable asset workers have to bargain with is their skill and labour. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining, it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process," said Atella.