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Private medics in Kenya announce 48-hour solidarity strike with jailed colleagues

Private medics in Kenya announce 48-hour solidarity strike with jailed colleagues

Kenya

Doctors in Kenya’s private medical facilities have resolved to strike for 48-hours in solidarity with their public-sector colleagues who were jailed on Monday.

A statement from the heads of 16 medical associations issued on February 14, 2017, said negotiations with government had also been suspended till the seven doctors are released. ‘‘There can be no negotiations if the doctors are in jail,’‘ the statement read.

The latest move effectively means that the East African country will not be with any doctors administering services. The 48-hour strike is expected to commence at midnight today; the national chair of the Kenya Medical Association said.

Meanwhile over 5000 doctors converged for a 30-day vigil at the prisons on Monday night for the jailed doctors. Judge Wasilwa handed down the one-month sentence to the leaders for failing to call off their strike which started in December 2016.

The jailed doctors are, Daisy Korir, Evelyne Chege, Ouma Oluga, Samuel Oroko, Allan Ochanji, Mwachonda Chibanzi and Titus Ondoro.

The medics last month rejected a 40% pay rise offer from the government, demanding the full implementation of a 2013 collective bargaining agreement. Public sector medics have been on strike since early December 2016.

The union, which has about 5,000 members, wants the government to implement a deal agreed in 2013. It was to give doctors a 150-180 percent pay rise on basic salaries; review their working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions; and address under-staffing in state hospitals.

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