Kenyan healthcare workers have suspended their planned strike which was set to commence on Monday, May 18th, for 21 days.
Addressing the press on Sunday, the Kenya Health Professionals Society (KHPS) chairman Mohamed Duba said the go-slow was called off to give the government more room for dialogue.
Duba said the decision to cancel the strike was made following a positive engagement with the Ministry of Health on Friday.
“We are in solidarity with the unions of healthcare workers to suspend the strike because we’ve had fruitful engagement on Friday with the minister of health. We are also looking forward to a fruitful engagement with CS for labor and CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya,” said Duba.
Duba said the fact that the country is currently facing too many problems including the Covid-19 pandemic, locust invasion as well as floods, it was wise for health workers to give the government more time to solve their issues amicably.
But he warned the workers will not hesitate to down tools if the government fails to show commitment in addressing their grievances within the 21 days.
The medical practitioners are demanding adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and harmonization of risk allowances to Sh30,000 across all cadres. They say currently some workers get Sh20,000 while others Sh3,000.
KHPS represents seventeen cadres of health professionals including nurses, doctors, clinical officers, and lab technicians among others.
On his part, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako said: “The strike would only hurt Kenyans and so it will only be the last resort after dialogue with government fails.”