After striking for three consecutive months, Kenyan doctors reached an agreement with the government on Tuesday putting an end to the strike.
The new agreement, signed by officials of the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors, and the doctors’ union, will increase doctors’ allowances and implement a promotion plan while protecting all striking doctors from penalization. Reuters reports that county governments have recognized the agreement and will conclude local agreements within the next 60 days.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and officials from the doctors’ union, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), announced the end of the strike after signing the deal at 6 p.m. in Nairobi.
“This has been a painful issue for the country,” said KMPDU secretary-general Ouma Oluga. “We wish that this country shall never experience this again.”
The Daily Nation reports that the signing of the agreement had been delayed due to some doctors’ raising concerns over certain documents. However, doctors, governors, and health ministry officials reached an agreement after a closed-door meeting.
Kenyan doctors began the strike on December 5, 2016 over the government’s failure to implement a 2013 agreement increasing their pay by 150 to 180 percent.
The strike caused a public health crisis, as private doctors not on strike could not attend to the needs of millions of Kenyans, many of whom could not afford treatment.