Kenyan public hospital dismisses 100 striking doctors amid ongoing nationwide protest

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — 100 doctors are out of their positions at Kenya’s capital, public hospital, for taking part in the month-long nationwide strike, management announced Tuesday. The Kenyatta University Referral Hospital hired new doctors to fill the spots of the strikers.

In mid-March, doctors across the country began demanding better pay and working conditions. On Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto broke his silence about the strike, saying there were no funds to pay them. “We must be honest with ourselves and the truth is that we must live within our means, we can’t borrow money to pay salaries,” Ruto said.

The doctors’ union has not budged, and on Tuesday, hundreds of doctors participated in protests and gave a petition to parliament urging the lawmakers to step in and help resolve the labor dispute.

This is not the first time Kenyan doctors have gone on strike over their pay and working conditions. In 2017, a 100-day strike led to some deaths due to lack of care. It ended with the doctors’ union signing an agreement with the government to increase their pay.

The doctors now say not all that was agreed upon in 2017 has been carried out.