4 January 2017

Kenya: Statement on the Doctors' Strike

Photo: Capital FM
An empty hospital ward.
press release

The Government today held a day-long meeting with representatives of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in continuing efforts to end the ongoing strike by doctors.

The meeting was convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Mombasa and was attended by heads of government ministries and agencies critical to the discussions - the CS National Treasury Henry Rotich, the CS Health Dr Cleopa Mailu, the Chairperson of the Salaries Remuneration Commission Sarah Serem and the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Professor Margaret Kobia.

Doctors were represented by a 7-member KMPDU delegation led by the Chairman Dr Samuel Oroko and Secretary-General Dr Ouma Oluga. The KMPDU team was accompanied by a legal representative.

The government recognises the important role played by doctors in public life, and is committed to continuing reforms to address challenges in the health sector.

Specifically, in response to the strike by doctors, government made the following offer to improve their welfare:

Raise the entry level grade into the public service for doctors to Job Group "M" from Job Group "L". This is higher than the normal entry level for other public servants and recognises doctors' professional training

Offered to raise the Enhanced Emergency Call allowance as follows:

- Increase to KSh 66,000 from the current KSh 30,000 for Job Group L - an increase of more than 100 per cent.

- Increase to KSh 72,000 from KSh 30,000 for Job Groups M-P -- also an increase of much more than 100 per cent

- Increase to KSh 80,000 from KSh 30,000 for Job Groups Q and above

In addition, Government also offered a new Doctors' Risk allowance at a flat rate of KSh 10,000 per month

The sum total of the government's offer means that the minimum gross salary for doctors will increase to KSh 196,989 from the current KSh 140,244 at full implementation at the current entry Job Group "L".

The total impact of the government offer on the exchequer will be an additional expenditure of KSh 4 billion annually - shared among the nation's 5,000 doctors.

The Government offer will bring the remuneration of doctors in line with the labour market.

Government believes that this is a responsible offer in the context of its obligations to properly manage the country's finances, as well as taking into cognisance the critical role played by doctors in securing a nation's health.

Government also reaffirmed its commitment to ensure equity in the nationwide distribution of doctors; continuous training, and a standard framework of employment across counties - including mechanisms for transfer of doctors and promotions.

Doctors affirmed their commitment to a quicker resolution of the strike and committed to consult with their wider membership before responding to the Government offer on Friday.

Manoah Esipisu, MBS

Secretary, Communication & State House Spokesperson


Twitter: @MEsipisu

4 January 2017

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