Doctors to President Ruto: Return home from abroad and address our demands

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists Union, Secretary General Dr Davji Atellah (centre), the union's Deputy Secretary General Dr Denis Miskellah second (right), other officials and members, during a meeting with doctors from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on April 5, 2024.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The doctors said they would now embark on a door-to-door campaign in partnership with community health promoters to make Kenyans aware of why they are striking.

Striking doctors want President William Ruto to cut short his foreign trips and return to the country to address their grievances.

Speaking at St Luke's Hospital in Eldoret on Friday evening, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials accused the government of being reluctant to address critical health issues arising from the strike.

The doctors want President Ruto to put on hold all other government activities, including foreign travel, to deal with the strike as an emergency.

"If there is an emergency that we want President Ruto to address now, it is the health issues that have forced us to go on strike. I urge President Ruto to come back home immediately to implement our strike demands that we go back to work to save the lives of many Kenyans who are suffering because of this strike.

"If there is any emergency that the President needs to address, it is the current health crisis in the country," said Dr Kahuria Mundia, KMPDU chairperson.

The doctors said they would now embark on a door-to-door campaign in partnership with community health promoters to make Kenyans aware of why they are striking.

They absolved their union of any blame for the impact of the strike on Kenyans, insisting that the government should be blamed for being blind to the doctors' plight.

Dr Mundia said the government had refused to implement the CBA, which has been in place for more than eight years.

"As doctors who value the health of Kenyans, from tomorrow we will join hands with CHP to sensitise all Kenyans including mama mboga, boda boda riders and other grassroots Kenyans."

They denied claims that their strike was politically influenced, instead accusing the government of playing politics with serious health issues.

"The government is playing politics with serious health issues affecting Kenyans by lying to the public that the 29-day strike notice we gave to the government was enough to address our grievances, this silence means that they don't care, they are just playing politics, all the propaganda they are claiming to have offered us is just politics," said KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah.

Dr Atellah said all 19 issues raised by the doctors had not been addressed by the government as some leaders claimed.

"Out of the 19 issues that we have raised as doctors, not a single issue has been implemented and the government is not showing any interest in addressing any of the issues that we have raised, instead they are violating the same CBA that we are fighting for by reducing the salaries of junior doctors by 91 per cent," said Dr Atellah.

The doctors have insisted that the strike will continue until all their demands are met.

Dr Atellah stuck to the union's position, telling Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Health CS Susan Nakhumicha not to question the doctors' decision to strike.

The doctors took to the streets for four weeks, demanding that the Ministry of Health honour the 2017 collective agreement.