President William Ruto has called on the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to suspend their ongoing strike, citing the government’s inability to meet their demands due to limited funds.

Speaking during a church service in Eldoret, President Ruto emphasized the importance of living within the country’s means and urged the doctors to accept the government’s offer.

The president acknowledged the challenging situation faced by doctors and medical interns but stressed the need for fiscal responsibility.

“I know we have a situation in our country with doctors and medical interns, I want to tell them that it is important for us as a nation to agree that we must live within our means,”Ruto said.

He expressed the government’s appreciation for the valuable services provided by doctors but emphasized the need to prioritize financial sustainability.

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President Ruto revealed that the available resources could only cover a stipend of Ksh70,000 for medical interns, which is not a salary but a one-year allowance before they are employed. 

Ruto: “We cannot continue to spend the money we don’t have, now I am telling our friends the doctors that we care about them. We value the services they give to our nation but we must live within our means.”

“The resources we have are only sufficient to pay Ksh70,000 for medical interns, it’s not a salary, it’s a stipend for only one year then they will be employed,” Ruto added.

The president urged the doctors to consider this offer and suspend their strike for the benefit of the nation.

This plea comes after 26 days of nationwide demonstrations by doctors, demanding the implementation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the absorption of interns, among other grievances.

Consequently, the doctors have been vocal in their calls for better working conditions and fair compensation.

Read: Doctor’s Strike: Inside KMPDU’s Demands Before Resuming Work

In response to the doctors’ demands, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei announced that the government has secured a budgetary support of Ksh2.4 billion to facilitate the deployment of medical interns. 

Koskei urged all medical interns to collect their deployment letters from the Ministry of Health starting on April 4.

However,the ongoing strike has caused significant disruptions in healthcare services across the country, with patients bearing the brunt of the situation. 

The suspension of the strike would provide relief to both patients and the healthcare system, allowing for the resumption of essential medical services.