Kenyan doctors dismiss president’s plea to end strike

Kenyan doctors working in public hospitals have vowed not to go back to work despite President William Ruto’s appeal to end a weeks-long strike that has hampered health services in the country.

Kenyan doctors demonstrate.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) went on strike on 14 March over the non-payment of salary arrears, delays by the government to deploy medical interns and other grievances.

On Sunday, President Ruto urged the striking doctors to reconsider their stance, saying that his government was unable to meet their demands due to the ballooning wage bills.

“I know we have a situation in Kenya facing our doctors and (medical doctor) interns but I want to implore them that we as a nation need to agree that we must live within our means, fellow countrymen and women,” Mr Ruto said.

But in response, KMPDU secretary general Davji Atellah said, “we cannot backtrack on our salaries to exploitation in the name of the wage bill”.

“The doctors’ salary is important [just] like the salary of any Kenyan,” Mr Atellah said.

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