Relief as government, KMPDU officials sign deal to end 56-day strike

Doctors' strike called off

The government and doctors' union officials have signed a return-to-work formula at KICC, Nairobi, effectively ending a 56-day nationwide strike.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials are expected to give directions to medics on when to resume work.

Speaking Wednesday during the signing that was televised live, KMPDU's Dr Davji Atellah thanked everyone involved in the process.

"I would like to thank the head of Public Service (Felix Koskei) and the Council of Governors as well. I want to thank the Health CS who despite the heated moments, has not given up on these discussions. I want to thank the leadership of KMPDU for believing in justice," he said.

The moment KMPDU and govt officials inked deal to end 56-day doctors' strike

However, the doctors' union noted that while they've inked the deal with government, the parties are yet to agree on the intern doctors' issue.

"As we sign, we will continue as we had not agreed on the intern issue and they will not be posted within 60 days as we continue with the talks," Dr Atellah said.

doctors strike timeline
Photo credit: Nation Media Group

On her part, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha said the government side was glad the strike is over.

"After long painstaking negotiations that ran into the night, I am pleased we are here and that the union has called off the strike. I have to give it to the doctors — I thought I could bargain and negotiate but it was not so," she said.

"To the families and patients who may have wondered when the strike would end, we understand your pain more so now when we were accelerating Universal health coverage (UHC)," she added.

Inking of the deal comes at the end of the 48-hour deadline the Employment and Labour Relations Court had given the government and striking doctors to finalise a return-to-work formula, failure to which the court would have stepped in to hear and determine the matter for them.