Kenyan Public Hospital Doctors Call Off Strike, Resume Work Amidst Negotiations


Kenya’s public hospital doctors have agreed to end a nearly two-month-long nationwide strike, opting to return to work as negotiations with the government progress.

Davji Atellah, the union secretary general, confirmed on May 8th that doctors have chosen to trust the government’s commitment to addressing their grievances, primarily centered around inadequate compensation and working conditions.

This decision follows a directive from Kenya’s labour court on Tuesday, May 7th, giving both doctors and the government 48 hours to reach a return-to-work agreement, failing which the court would intervene.

Government officials responded, with Kenya’s Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha acknowledging the doctors’ effective negotiation tactics, noting they presented a formidable challenge during discussions.

The cessation of the strike is a welcomed relief for millions of Kenyans reliant on public hospital services, which had been severely impacted by the industrial action. Some hospitals resorted to hiring temporary doctors to manage emergency cases.

This resolution marks a significant departure from the lengthy strikes witnessed in 2017 when doctors protested for 100 days, advocating for improved wages and the restoration of the nation’s deteriorating public health infrastructure.

Kenya’s current situation is compounded by the ongoing effects of flooding, which have affected over 235,000 individuals since the onset of the rainy season in mid-March.