KMPDU Boss Reveals 4 Doctors' Demands Govt Ready to Settle After Talks

KMPDU leaders lead a strike of doctors in Kenya.
KMPDU leaders lead a strike of doctors in Kenya.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Deputy Secretary General Dennis Miskellah insisted that the doctors strike would continue in the event the State did not match the Ksh206,000 salary for interns the body was demanding.

In an exclusive interview with for my flagship newsletter the Evening Brief, the medical practitioner confirmed that the State had made commitments to meet several demands but the deal breaker remained the amount the union had quoted as interns' pay.

He noted that the government had pledged, through numerous talks between the parties involved, to settle the Ksh3.5 billion arrears owed to doctors in a span of five years.

The State also agreed to provide medical cover for medical personnel, effect doctor promotions and settle all pending fees.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah  during an interview on April 17, 2023
The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atella during an interview on April 17, 2023

"The government has met some. It has agreed to pay our debt of 7 years which they will settle for a period of five years. It amounts to Ksh3.5 billion," he explained.

"The government said that it will give us medical cover as well as follow through with all pending doctor promotions. The school fees that were pending will also be paid."

When prodded on whether the doctors would consider suspending the strike after the offers made by the State, he insisted that the interns' pay was non-negotiable.

He explained that the medical unions cannot accept lower stipends explaining that the move was tantamount to accepting a pay cut.

"The deal breaker, whatever is causing this problem, is the interns' issue who must be paid what we agreed 7 years ago. If you have to change the salary, then increase it, you cannot reduce what they were earning years ago when milk was Ksh10," he added.

Nakhumicha Legal Action

At a joint press conference with the Council of Governors, Health CS Susan Nakhumicha confirmed that the doctors and the Ministry had reached several agreements but failed to reach a desirable monthly stipend for interns.

The Ministry noted that it was reviewing the internship policy and to align it to the inflow of interns from the eight teaching universities with the country's financial standing.

"We would like to confirm that the Ministry of Health has managed to get Ksh3.5 billion for payment of salary arrears from 2017 to 2024 June. This will be paid in five installments each financial year," Nakhumicha stated.

"The Ministry has received Ksh2.4 billion for payment of internship and I want to clarify that this Ksh2.4 billion is available to the Ministry up to June 2024."

"So the offer of Ksh70,000 (stipend) for those interns who want to be posted is still available and this offer shall have to be renegotiated after June 2024," Nakhumicha added.

She further indicated that Ksh200 million was set aside to settle fee arrears for post-graduate doctors who had undergone specialty training.

"Following up on the doctors' refusal to call off the strike, we have instructed our counsel to immediately move to court and file the status report as to what we had agreed to as a return to work formula," she concluded.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha during the handover of Mama Margaret Kenyatta Level 5 Hospital to Nairobi County, March 25.
Ministry of Health