No devolution: Return Health to State, say unions

Health workers’ trade have demanded that Health services be transferred back to the national government, claiming counties have failed to manage the essential sector.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya National Clinical Officers Union and Kenya Laboratory Officers Union blamed politicians for failed healthcare sector reforms.

Led by KMPDU chairman Samuel Oruko, the trade unionists said governors had proved provision of health service is beyond their ability.

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“We have started a push to have health care services administered from a central point under the national government by professionals within the sector. We want to have service delivery restored to where it was before devolution,” Dr Oruko said.

National issue

He said the ongoing medics’ strike in Kirinyaga County had become a national concern.

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“Our colleagues in the county followed due process and issued the required seven-day notice before the strike but the governor, on learning the strike had taken off, rushed to court and obtained orders that declared the strike illegal,” Oruko said.

The trade unionists visited the county to show solidarity with their colleagues after they were tear-gassed on Tuesday by police.

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Oruko said the grievances should be resolved before the strike ignites a countrywide boycott.

“We are pleading with Governor Ann Waiguru to sit with our union members and work out a return-to-work formula without which this strike will escalate to other counties,” he said.

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KMPDUKenya National Union of NursesHealthDevolution