Judge Jails Officials From Kenya's Medical Union

  • Judge Jails Officials From Kenya's Medical Union

Judge Jails Officials From Kenya's Medical Union

Finally, jailed doctors were finally released under orders of Kenyan court of appeal, in order to solve doctor crisis.

Kenya's Court of Appeal on Wednesday ordered the release from jail of officials from the national doctors' union so they can negotiate with the government over a strike that has paralyzed the public health sector.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union officials Ouma Oluga and Mwachond Chibanzi on February 13 when they were taken away to prison.

In a show of solidarity, doctors belonging to the Kenya Medical Association announced after the ruling that they would join the strike.

A majority of private hospitals shut in solidarity.

Reuters reports that medics wearing white gowns and surgical caps, blew whistles and angrily chanted in the street as details of the ruling was relayed to them.

Seven Kenyan medical union officials, jailed for their role in a strike that has crippled public hospitals, were freed Wednesday ahead of their appeal and will resume negotiations with the government. We can do nothing because we don't have money.

Doctors have rejected a government offer of a 40 percent rise saying it falls short of promises made in a 2013 agreement.

The union, which has about 5,000 members, wants the government to follow through on a deal agreed in 2013 which would grant doctors a 150 to 180 percent pay rise on basic salaries and improved working conditions.

With failed attempts to resolve the 73-day doctors' strike and some parties withdrawing from the negotiating table, Justice Wasilwa said that the court had no option but to effect the jail term.

A series of corruption scandals, including an investigation into millions of dollars allegedly missing from the Health Ministry, has bolstered support for the doctors, even as Kenyan media has reported that patients have died during the strike.

Doctors in public hospitals have been on strike since December 5 over pay and conditions.