Kenyan hospital lays off 100 striking doctors as nationwide strike nears a month

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A public hospital in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi has laid off 100 doctors who are taking part in a nationwide strike that has been ongoing for almost a month, its management said Tuesday.

The Kenyatta University Referral Hospital said new doctors had been hired in place of those striking.

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Doctors in Kenya went on a nationwide strike in mid-March demanding better pay and working conditions.

Kenya-Doctors-Strike

Doctors and other medical staff take part in a protest in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, March 22, 2024. Hundreds of Kenyan doctors have protested in the streets demanding better pay and working conditions in an ongoing nationwide strike that has entered its second week. The doctors carried placards and chanted against the Kenyan government on Friday, saying it had failed to implement a raft of promises, including a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2017 after a 100-day strike during which people died from lack of care.  (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

President William Ruto on Sunday broke his silence over the strike saying there was no money to pay striking doctors.

“We must be honest with ourselves and the truth is that we must live within our means, we can’t borrow money to pay salaries”, Ruto said.

The doctors’ union has remained adamant, and on Tuesday hundreds of doctors took part in protests and presented a petition to parliament urging lawmakers to intervene in their labor dispute.

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This is not the first time Kenyan doctors are striking over poor pay and working conditions. In 2017 doctors took part in a 100-day strike that saw people dying from lack of care. The strike ended with the doctors’ union signing an agreement with the government to increase their pay.

Doctors now say part of what was agreed upon in 2017 has not been implemented.

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