Kenyan doctors reject government pay offer

Friday January 6 2017

A half-empty ward at the Coast Provincial General Hospital as the doctors' strike continues. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI

A half-empty ward at the Coast Provincial General Hospital as the doctors' strike continues. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI 

By The EastAfrican Reporter

Kenyan doctors have rejected a recent pay rise offer by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his attempt to end the month-long strike that has paralysed operations in public hospitals countrywide.

The doctors insist that the government implements a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed in 2013.

On Tuesday, during a six-hour-long meeting with the union representatives, President Kenyatta offered a 40 per cent salary increase that would have seen the least paid medic earn about $2,000, up from the current $1,400.

But the doctors say the offer only favours them while excluding the public.

On Friday, when they announced their decision on the president's offer, the union said the government's offer was outside the CBA.

"The government's offer leaves out the need to equip hospitals with equipment and drugs," the union said on its Twitter account.

"The government's offer leaves out the need to train more doctors and absorb them into public service. #offernotCBA"

Other reasons the doctors advance include inadequate research funding to improve clinical management, lack of structures for promotions and transfers, and no medical compensation.

Meanwhile, patients continue to suffer due to lack of medical services at public hospitals with others facing financial straining after seeking treatment from expensive private hospitals.