Kenya’s health cabinet secretary Cleopa Mailu says he will consult the attorney general on the possibility of having seven jailed doctors’ union officials released from prison.
Mailu addressed the senate health committee where he was taken to task over the prolonged paralysis in public hospitals owing to the medics’ strike.
The cabinet secretary said it was vital that the jailed doctors were released in order to continue with negotiations.
The seven officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union were arrested on Monday and ordered to serve 30-day jail term for contempt of court.
The strike now in its 72nd day has seen at least 5,000 doctors protest for better pay and the dilapidated state of the country’s public hospitals
The doctors want the government to respect a 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement that will see salaries increase by 300 per cent, hire new doctors and address drug and equipment shortages.
Meanwhile, medics in private hospitals and universities are set for a 48 hour strike in solidarity with their jailed colleagues.