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Clinicians say hospitals employing quacks

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy GRAHAM KAJILWA | Sun,Feb 07 2021 00:00:00 EAT
By GRAHAM KAJILWA | Sun,Feb 07 2021 00:00:00 EAT


Kenya Union of Clinical Officers General Secretary George Gibore. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Clinicians have raised concern over unqualified and underqualified health personnel who are working in places of those on strike.

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco) says counties have resorted to deploying healthcare workers and other staff who are not specialists, thus putting unsuspecting patients at risk.

George Gibore, the Kuco general secretary claimed after some counties fired some medics, healthcare workers who are not specialists are being seconded to cover the shortage.

“Let Kenyans know that healthcare workers are on strike. When you go to a hospital and you are told there are providing services, be aware that those serving you are not qualified,” he said.

Gibore claimed Kisii County has dismissed close to 100 clinicians while Meru has fired 57.

He said despite threats from and victimisation by county governments, they will not return to work until they are assured of their safety in hospitals.

“We are protected by the law and it (the law) cannot be overturned by circulars, show cause letters and threats,” he said.

Clinicians and nurses have been on strike since December 7, with a pending Return to Work Formula that Council of Governors rejected due to its financial implications.

Working conditions

The clinicians and nurses, just like doctors who later returned to work went on strike to demand for better working conditions inclusive of medical insurance and an improved risk allowance.

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“Risk allowance that requires a minimum increment of between 300 per cent and 650 per cent to only two cadres, will have a ripple effect to other cadres in the health service and also requires SRC approval and availability of resources for sustainability,” reads a letter dated January 4,2021 from the former Council of Governors chair Wycliffe Oparanya to the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. It explained why the Return to Work Formulas signed cannot be implemented.

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