Kenyans have welcomed the end of a painful nationwide doctors strike that paralyzed the country’s health sector for 100 days.
The strike was called off on Tuesday after the signing of a return-to-work formula between doctors the national and county governments.
The impact of the strike has been nothing short of gut wrenching for ordinary Kenyans.
We hope it will never happen again in the history of this country - where we put ourselves first and the rest of Kenyans second
“I really feel good and I thank them because they have really taken a noble step in returning back to work because it has really cost a lot of lives. A lot of lives have been lost because of their almost 100 days strike. So it is good that they have come back to work and in future let them handle things in the right way without going to strikes,” said Sammy Tarus, a Nairobi resident.
“I can only ask them to go back to work because poor people like us are suffering. The rich can afford private health care. I plead with them to resume duties. I cannot afford private health care,” Jane Wairimu another Nairobi resident added.
The strike which began on December 5 has been blamed for some deaths. As a result, both the health ministry and the medics were unanimous that such an industrial action should never occur again.
Cleopa Mailu, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health said, “I want to tell Kenyans that this situation is regrettable and as one person has said, we hope it will never happen again in the history of this country – where we put ourselves first and the rest of Kenyans second. Yes, there are grievances – we must learn how to resolve them without occasioning pain to other people. Those 100 days as we mention them as professionals in the health sector, they will remain black pages in the history of practice of medicine in this country.”
The striking medics had been demanding higher wages and better working conditions.