Negotiations Between Striking Kenya Doctors, Govt Deadlock

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Negotiations between the government and striking doctors have collapsed, further prolonging the suffering of Kenyans seeking healthcare in public hospitals.

The strike by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) is entering its second month over pay disputes and the failure to hire trainee doctors.

The KMPDU officials failed to turn up for a crucial meeting on Tuesday, called by head of public service Felix Koskei following days of negotiations.

After a cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto, the government said that the doctors’ grievances had been addressed, except for the disagreement on intern doctors’ salaries.

The government termed the demand to pay intern doctors $1,500 (£1200) “unsustainable”. It insisted that it could pay only $520 monthly to intern doctors as a stipend.

The doctors’ union rejected the proposed return-to-work offer, saying the contentious issue of internship compensation was non-negotiable.

Mr Koskei accused the doctors of flouting court orders and backtracking on agreements reached during the meetings.

The striking doctors also want the Kenyan government to fully cater for their medical insurance cover, honour agreements on promotions, and improve their working conditions.