KMA announces closure of private hospitals for 24 hours over jailed doctors

They said this will be in protest against the imprisonment of doctors' union officials following the latter's incarceration for contempt of court.

Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, said that he is "horrified, disturbed and shocked" over the court's decision.

The deal requires the government 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.

Officials from a union that represents doctors were jailed on Monday for contempt of court after they refused to call off the public hospital strike, which has entered its third month.

The medics pointed out that the jailing of their union officials amounted to the contravention of Article 41 of the Constitution.

The Kenyan Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union said it has called off all communications with President Uhuru Kenyatta's government until their officials are released.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa made the ruling on Monday, sentencing the doctors to one month in jail. Public sector medics have been on strike since early December 2016.

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Kitulu said there would be no negotiations while the union officials were in jail, and demanded that Kenyatta - who faces presidential and parliamentary elections in August - sack cabinet members and officials she blamed for the crisis.

A series of corruption scandals, including an investigation into millions of dollars allegedly missing from the Health Ministry, has bolstered support for the doctors, even though Kenyan media has reported that patients have died during the strike.

The government has said it can only afford a 40 percent pay rise.

"The doctors have expressed their aspirations".

"Rather than resolve the crisis in the health sector, the jailing of union officials deepens it and sets an extremely unsafe precedent", said opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The doctors' union rejected both offers and urged the government to pay the full salary increases promised three years ago. "Whether the doctors are in jail or not the strike will still go on".

The male officials will serve their 30-day sentence at the Industrial Area prison while their female counterparts will do their time at the Langata female prison.

  • Adam Floyd