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Striking Kenya doctors have rejected 40 per cent salary increase

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Striking Kenyan doctors have rejected a 40 percent salary increase offer tabled by President Uhuru Kenyatta two days ago, vowing to continue with their month-long industrial action.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union told journalists in Nairobi that the government’s offer didn’t match the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed in 2013.

"The government had offered an increase in allowances to end this doctors’ strike.

"The union officials today presented that offer to the doctors for deliberations and they humbly rejected it," the union’s secretary general Ouma Oluga said.

"The doctors have instructed the leaders of our union to continue with the strike till the CBA is implemented," Oluga said.

The doctors, who are from public hospitals, are demanding a 300 percent salary increase as agreed in the CBA.

They say the lowest paid doctor should earn 3,450 dollars per month while the highest 9,450 dollars.

On Wednesday, the government offered to increase salaries for the lowest paid doctors by over 550 U.S. dollars per month, which would raise their salaries to 1,970 dollars per month from 1,400 dollars.

The pay rise was offered after President Kenyatta held a meeting with representatives of the doctors’ union in the coastal city of Mombasa earlier this week.

"The total impact of the government offer on the exchequer will be an additional expenditure of 40 million U.S. dollars annually—shared among the nation’s 5,000 doctors," Kenyatta said.

The standoff between the doctors and the government has pushed thousands of low-income patients to the edge. With no cash to visit high-cost private facilities, distressed families have flocked ill-equipped clinics in residential areas.

The doctors are also demanding the hiring of more medics and improvement of working conditions in hospitals.

They say they have been forced to work for long hours owing to the doctor-to-patient ratio that they say currently stands at 1:16,000.


Striking Kenya doctors offered pay rise after talks with President

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