Kenyan doctors have ground Kenya’s public health sector to a halt with a strike that has clocked one month.
The doctor’s who have been called out severally by the government and the general public have so far refused to be swayed from their positions.
Instead of folding to the demands of the government and members of the public who have brought up their moral obligations as doctors, Kenyan doctors used every tool they could get their hands on, including social media, to make it clear what exactly they are fighting for.
Now, Kenyan doctors have rejected a pay offer by the government desperate to get them to come back to work. President Uhuru Kenyatta had met the doctors’ union representatives on Tuesday where he made an offer to increase the health workers’ allowances by at least $560 (£450).
With that increase, entry level pay for intern doctors would rise to about $2,000 per month. Although the offer seems considerably sizeable, the union which was set to respond today rejected the offer on the grounds that the deal would favor doctors but completely leaves out the public.
To understand what Kenyan doctors mean by that, it is necessary to recall that the demands made by the union at the beginning of the strike action were for Kenya’s government to honor an agreement signed in 2013 that promised to increase the number of doctors, research funds, drugs and equipment in public hospitals.
While the government’s current offer would increase the pay of Kenyan doctors, it neglects the provision of research funds, equipment, and drugs that would be beneficial to the public in the long run.
The union has been tweeting details of their statement that further explains the stand of Kenyan doctors. Check out some of the tweets below;
“Doctors have declined a deal that would favor them and exclude the public from its fruits #offernotCBA”
“The governments offer leaves out the need to equip hospitals with equipment and drugs #offernotCBA”
“The governments offer leaves out the need to train more doctors and absorb them into public service #offernotCBA”
“The governments offer fails to capture the salary structure that was agreed collectively between us and the government #offernotCBA”
As the back and forth between the doctors and the government continues, many Kenyans are continuing to suffer as they are forced to use scarce resources to seek treatment in private hospitals which are terribly expensive.