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Doctors stage overnight camp at Ministry of Health headquarters in protest

Kenyan medics camped outside the Ministry of Health headquarters at Afya House in Nairobi on Monday, July 8 as a form of protest.

Doctors stage overnight camp at Ministry of Health headquarters in protest
  • Kenyan medics protested outside Ministry of Health headquarters in Nairobi, demanding immediate posting of 1,500 intern doctors as per a 2017 agreement
  • The sit-in protest turned into an overnight vigil after their demands were not met, and the doctors vowed to continue demanding action
  • The interns also called for the termination of Health CS Susan Nakhumicha

A sit-in protest by Kenyan medics turned into an overnight vigil after their demands were not met, and vowed to continue demanding the immediate posting of 1,500 intern doctors as per a 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The interns claimed they had been waiting for over two years to complete their compulsory internships, which is required to obtain a medical license.

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The doctors' union, Kenya Medical Practitioners & Dentists Union (KMPDU), had given notice of a day and night sit-in protest at the Ministry of Health starting July 8.

However, an unauthorised tweet from the union's official X account falsely claimed the protests were suspended due to ongoing discussions with the government.

KMPDU's Secretary General later clarified that the union's account had been compromised and the protests would proceed as planned.

The protests came after a Return to Work Formula agreement signed in May 2024 between the government and KMPDU to end a 56-day doctors' strike.

The strike, which began on March 13, 2024, saw medical services across the nation severely disrupted, highlighting the critical issues facing the healthcare sector in Kenya.

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That agreement stipulated the interns should be deployed by July 7, 2024, but the government failed to fully comply.

The medical interns gathered at Afya House, saying their future was being jeopardised by the delay in posting them.

They threatened to occupy the ministry until their demands are met.

The medics have also called for the termination of Health CS Susan Nakhumicha from the docket.

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