How Doctors' Strike Has Disrupted the Healthcare System in Kenya - KNCHR

How Doctors' Strike Has Disrupted the Healthcare System in Kenya - KNCHR

The ongoing doctors' strike in Kenya has had a significant impact on the provision of healthcare services across the country, as reported by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR). The strike, which has been ongoing for some time, has led to disruptions in the delivery of essential health services, with reported cases of deaths and increased medical expenses for Kenyans seeking care from private facilities.

The KNCHR has expressed concern over the state's responsibility to ensure that Kenyans enjoy their constitutional and internationally recognized right to healthcare. The Commission notes that while workers, including doctors, have the right to fair remuneration, reasonable working conditions, and the right to strike, both parties need to engage in genuine discussions to find a return-to-work formula and resume the provision of healthcare services.

The Commission has also raised concerns over the reported use of unnecessary and excessive force against members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) during a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi, where the KMPDU Secretary General, Dr. Davji Atellah, was reportedly injured by a teargas canister fired by the police.

The KNCHR has called for the immediate cessation of threats and intimidation against the lawful exercise of the right to picket, demonstrate, and protest, and for the provision of adequate security to both protestors and non-protestors. The Commission has also emphasized the state's duty to secure the rights of both the protestors and non-protesters, in line with the Constitution's guarantee of the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration.

In response to the Inspector General of Police's statement warning non-medics against joining the strike, the KNCHR has maintained that national security must be pursued with utmost respect for the rule of law and human rights, as provided for in the Constitution.

The KNCHR has called for genuine consultations between the government and the medical practitioners to urgently resolve the outstanding issues and agree on a return-to-work formula. The Commission remains committed to helping the government fulfill its human rights obligations, including facilitating a dialogue with the striking medical practitioners.

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