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International - February 13, 2017

Court to jail 5000 doctors

Striking Kenyan doctors

About 5000 doctors have been sentenced to one month in jail for going on strike over pay conditions in public hospitals.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a Kenyan judge on Monday ordered that officials from the national doctors’ union be jailed for one month amid an ongoing strike.

“This court decides to resume its order sentencing the applicants to a one month jail term,” Justice Hellen Wasilwa said.

Doctors in public hospitals have been on strike since Dec. 5.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union had previously warned that doctors in private hospitals might also strike if union officials were jailed.

Medics, wearing white gowns and surgical caps, blew whistles and angrily chanted in the street as word of the ruling emerged.

The union, which has about 5,000 members, wants the government to implement a deal agreed in 2013.

The government was to give doctors a 300 per cent pay rise; review their working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions; and address under-staffing in state hospitals.

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