Kenyan Doctors Return To Work But Intern Issue Remains Unsettled

Kenyan doctors ended their 56-day strike after reaching a partial agreement with the government. The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) secured some concessions on working conditions, but a key disagreement regarding medical interns persists.

The strike, which began in March, highlighted deep problems in Kenya’s healthcare system. Negotiations between KMPDU, the Council of Governors, and the Ministry of Health finally yielded an agreement after marathon meetings.

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While both sides celebrate the strike’s end, KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah emphasized that the fight isn’t over. Pay and placement of medical interns remain unresolved and are headed to court.

The sticking point is the immediate posting of interns as outlined in their employment contracts. The government seeks a delay due to ongoing legal challenges.

As a compromise, both parties agreed on a 60-day window for further discussions.

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Health Minister Wafula Nakhumicha praised the negotiation efforts and acknowledged the pressure from the strike has jumpstarted efforts to address chronic issues in the healthcare system.

Looking ahead, a joint task force with the Ministry of Education is being formed to prevent future crises.

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