Kenya’s labour relations court has declared the doctors strike in the country illegal and ordered them to resume work immediately,
The strike, which began more than a week ago on December 6, has paralyzed medical services in public hospitals across the country and is so far believed to have led to the deaths of at least 20 people.
Private medical providers are also expected to join in the industrial action in solidarity with their counterparts in the public sector, crippling medical provision yet further.
Officials from the two unions said they will not relent in their quest to have a 2013 agreement over a 300 percent pay rise signed with the government implemented.
The unions are also asking a review of working conditions, job structures, criteria for promotions, and under-staffing of medical professionals in state hospitals.
“We are sorry for Kenyans who end up suffering but this will not be resolved in any other way,” KMPDU chairman Samuel Oroko said.
On Sunday, a faction of the nurses’ union signed a 700 million US dollar agreement with Health Minister Cleopa Mailu and the health chairman of the Council of Governors, James Ongwae.
The health ministry and KNUN officials said the signed agreement will be harmonized with a collective bargaining agreement which they expect to be registered in court.
However, KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako denounced the announcement to end the nurses’ strike signed by his deputy and his chairman, urging nurses to stay away from work.