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Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero set to sack striking doctors on Friday

By Josphat Thiong'o | Published Wed, January 11th 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 10th 2017 at 22:07 GMT +3
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero

The city county government has resolved to sack striking doctors by Friday if they do not go back to work.

Approximately 124 doctors joined the nationwide strike that began in December despite talks with the county government. The strike is now in its sixth week.

Speaking in Mathare, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the county had written to doctors to provide show-cause letters on why they should not be dismissed.

"The doctors continued striking despite the court declaring it illegal. Anyone that does not resume work should know that they stand sacked," said Dr Kidero.

The city boss said the county had already taken disciplinary action against doctors by not paying them their December salaries. He confirmed that only 54 doctors had resumed work across all county hospitals since December.

"Why pay someone for a job they have not done? We will not pay them and we will by Friday sack them and employ other doctors," warned Kidero.

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Health Executive Benard Muia had said the county intended to recruit new doctors even as it engaged 17 hospitals in a bid to restore normalcy in public hospitals.

Mr Muia said the county had engaged the services of private and mission hospitals.

MP Shah, St Mary's Hospital, St Francis Community Hospital and Nairobi Hospital are among private and faith-based facilities that have agreed with the county administration to treat patients.

"We have had talks and written to 17 chief executive officers of major private and faith-based hospitals and they have agreed to partner with us and offer Nairobians emergency services in an effort to address the health crisis," said Muia.

This, he said, meant that only emergency cases would be considered priorities in the facilities.

Those set to benefit are patients in need of urgent surgery, those involved in traffic accidents, diabetics and anyone in a coma.

Muia said the county government had advertised to fill the positions of doctors on strike.

He urged willing and able doctors to apply, saying it was the only way to prevent more deaths in hospitals.

Muia revealed applicants would be hired as locum medical practitioners, meaning they would work part-time before the stalemate between the Government and doctors was resolved.

Yesterday, Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya gave medics until today to call off the industrial action or face the sack.

He said the state had given offered the doctors a reasonable deal.

But Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said the ministry was willing to negotiate with doctors.