, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 – Doctors on Wednesday effectively called off their strike and announced that that they would resume work on Thursday after a 10 day standoff with the government.
The decision was made after a four-hour Special Delegates Conference held in Nairobi.
“We have reached a decision to call off the strike and call upon doctors to return to work within the next 24 hours,” Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union Secretary General Boniface Chitayi said.
Another Official Wambui Waithaka said that they had reached a new return-to-work formula with the government.
“We sent emissaries to the government back and forth to hear what the stand is. We asked for certain things to be added into the return-to-work formula,” she said.
The Special Delegates Conference had representatives from across the country.
The doctors have agreed to the government’s proposal to set up a special taskforce that would look into their issues.
The taskforce will include six union representatives and a similar number of government representatives.
On Tuesday, the doctors rejected a return to work formula reached on Monday night between the government and union representatives that had declared the strike off.
They had expressed concerns that the offer had left out unpaid intern doctors at Kenyatta National Hospital and had also not factored in infrastructure in public health facilities.
“What has changed is the fact that after a lot of consultation with older members and different people, we have decided to give the taskforce a chance,” Waithaka said.
The doctors went on strike on Monday last week demanding a 300 percent salary increment, extraneous allowances and improvement of public health facilities.
The government has offered to pay Sh30,000 in extraneous allowance to each doctor in two quarters beginning this month. The next quarter was to be implemented in July next year.
The government has also pledged to invest Sh80 billion over the next ten years in infrastructure development for public hospitals.
However, on the issue of salaries, the government maintained that it was the purview of the yet to be formed Salaries and Remuneration Commission.