Medics in county hospitals issue strike notice over delayed salaries, warn of poor services

Health workers in the county have issued a strike notice due to a delay in the payment of their salaries.

On Tuesday, the medics who included doctors, nurses, clinical officers and laboratory technicians, asked relatives with patients in public hospitals to remove them.

They then went ahead to give a seven-day strike notice. They issued the notice through their unions - Kenya Medical Practitioners Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco), Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (Kumlo) and Kenya Union of Civil Servants (UKCS).

The medics said they have not been paid for two months and could, therefore, not concentrate on their duties.

Union officials representing the workers said they were tired of 'working on empty stomachs'.

The strike notice comes barely a week after the health workers called off a salary parade that had lasted three weeks.

In the parades, the medics would go to the county offices and hold peaceful demonstrations for long hours before dispersing.

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The parade had crippled activities in the county's 132 health facilities.

Transfer patients

County Executive Committee Member for Health Judith Atyang' could not be reached for comment.

However, Aloice Ager, the county spokesperson, said yesterday the strike notice had been received by the county authorities.

Mr Ager said the authorities are handing the situation. Knun Kisumu Branch Secretary General Maurice Opetu urged families to transfer their patients to private facilities because the striking medics are not in the right frame of mind to offer quality service.

“How can a health worker who has had his house locked because of rent, his children are not in school and he has no food in the house offer quality medical care?” asked Mr Opetu.

“When you go to a public hospital in Kisumu, you should know that you are risking your life because those working there are not comfortable enough to offer you good service.”

The workers are also demanding that the county remits loan deductions to their various banks where penalties are accruing.

According to Kuco Secretary Craus Okumu, some workers who received their July salary had their accounts reading negative because the banks deducted all the money due to accrued loan penalties.

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Kenya Medical Practitioners UnionKnunMedics strike