Kenyan Hospital Terminates 100 Doctors Amid Ongoing Nationwide Strike for Better Pay and Conditions

A public hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, has taken drastic measures in response to the ongoing nationwide strike by doctors, announcing the layoff of 100 medical professionals who are participating in the labor action. The Kenyatta University Referral Hospital stated on Tuesday that it had replaced the striking doctors with new hires.

The strike, which began in mid-March, has seen doctors across Kenya demand improved salaries and working conditions. Despite the prolonged protest, President William Ruto addressed the situation for the first time on Sunday, citing financial constraints and asserting the government’s inability to meet the doctors’ demands. Ruto emphasized the necessity of fiscal responsibility, stating, “We must live within our means; we can’t borrow money to pay salaries.”

Undeterred by the government’s stance, the doctors’ union has continued its advocacy efforts, staging protests and submitting a petition to parliament urging lawmakers to intervene in the labor dispute.

This isn’t the first time Kenya has grappled with doctor strikes due to inadequate compensation and working conditions. In 2017, a 100-day strike led to significant public health challenges, with reports of fatalities due to lack of medical attention. The strike concluded with the signing of an agreement between the doctors’ union and the government, promising salary increases.

However, doctors contend that certain provisions of the 2017 agreement remain unfulfilled, contributing to the current wave of strikes and unrest within the medical community. The situation highlights the ongoing struggle to address systemic issues within Kenya’s healthcare system, underscoring the urgent need for meaningful dialogue and effective solutions to ensure the well-being of both medical professionals and patients alike.

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