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Health workers plan to block recruitment by counties

By By Kevine Omollo | December 20th 2013

By Kevine Omollo

KISUMU, KENYA: Health workers from Kisumu County have threatened to push health workers’ professional bodies to challenge the recruitment of new health workers by counties.

The workers who downplayed calls by county government to fill the positions left by striking health workers alleged that the county governments had planned to employ unqualified health workers.

“Some counties have advertised positions and they want to employ those who are not accredited. We shall not allow that,” he said.

Kisumu County has advertised 450 positions to fill the positions left by the striking health workers, a situation which has left over 20 public health facilities in the county paralysed.

Secretary Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Kisumu County Mourice Odhiambo has said governors are the reason behind the stand-off and ought to stop playing politics with the current health situation.

 He termed the actions by Kisumu County Governor Jack Ranguma ‘toothless dog threats’ meant to intimidate health workers.

Odhiambo who was reacting to the advertisement said the health workers will not be cowed from demanding for ‘sanity’ in the health sector.

“We are not asking for money. We are not against devolution. Our concern is the illegal policies created hurriedly by the government,” he said.

The health workers said the issues raised to the government are pertinent to both the health workers and the public whom they serve.

Odhiambo said a grater percentage of health budgets is donor-funded and devolving all the aspects of health services would disadvantage some counties, and also shake the donor schedules as donors will need to restructure.

He said the Aids programme is currently 95 per cent donor-funded, yet the devolution has no clear guidelines on how counties would fairly benefit from the funds.

Immunization, TB treatment and other emergency services are set to collapse if the strike persists.

“The gazette notice transferring health workers’ personal emolument to counties must be revoked,” he added.


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