Kenya Doctors Suspend Strike to Pave Way for Talks

Nairobi — Kenyans can now breathe a sigh of relief as they will continue to receive services in hospitals after doctors suspended a planned strike to pave way for talks.

The doctors’ union, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had threatened to mobilise a strike from Monday to protest lack of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in hospitals as well as a medical insurance cover particularly to those in the frontline fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

But under pressure from the government and the National Assembly, the union’s Secretary General Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda said they had opted to suspend the strike.

“The union acknowledges the efforts of the two houses of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) to resolve the grievances raised in the strike notice dated 16th November 2020. We acknowledge the goodwill of the Kenyan doctors and the public. KMPDU looks forward to the meetings set for 9th and 10th December by the Senate and National Assembly Health committees respectively,” Dr. Mwachonda in suspending the strike for two weeks.

He said if their grievances remain unresolved, the strike will kick off on December 21.

National Assembly’s Health Committee Chairperson Sabina Chege blamed the Health Ministry for taking too long to address the issues raised by doctors.

“I can see there is light at the end of the tunnel and I know you love your job. If you leave we will all suffer. We have seen and heard where the difficulties are. Some are willing others are not and we can tell Kenyans what is happening” Chege said, and pleaded with doctors to suspend the strike.

More than 30 healthcare workers and at least 10 specialised doctors have succumbed to COVID-19 since April.

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