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Medical Laboratory officers issue 7-day strike notice

By JUDAH BEN-HUR | 3 months ago


Doctors, nurses and clinical officers protest a long Digo road in Mombasa. They want the Government to pay them 30,000 shillings for risk allowance, National Hospital insurance funds among other allowances. Medical workers also demand personal protective equipment s in the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic. 22nd December 2020. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Kenya National Union of medical Laboratory officers has issued a 7-day ultimatum that will prompt a strike if they are not included in the ongoing dispute resolution mechanism between the government and health unions. The strike will take effect on Tuesday, January 5 if the Union is not given an audience by the government and several of its issues not addressed. Top of the union’s demands is recognition of their agreement by the National and County government, provision of quality and adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), risk allowance amounting to Sh 30,000, a comprehensive medical insurance cover and a group life insurance. Like their counterparts in the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) and Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), the laboratory officers also demand for the institution of a Constitutional Health Service commission, redesignation and promotion of officers who have stagnated in positions of many years. The Union also calls for extra allowances such as the bio-risk allowances of Sh30,000 and call allowances amounting to Sh10,000. The union has also called out the Ministry of Health (MOH) for “threats and intimidation” directed at medical laboratory officers through a letter sent to the Union by a technical advisor to the Cabinet secretary of December 23. “No healthcare worker should be threatened with punitive action for participating in a lawful industrial action,” read the statement by the Union.  


The Deserted section of patients' waiting room at Migori County Referral Hospital on December 22, 2020, has doctor and Nurses still on strike. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

The laboratory officers poke another hole in the Sinking health system prompted by the strike of different health Unions Starting with Nurses and clinical officers in early December followed by doctors after the lapse of their 21-day strike notice on December 21. Even though doctors are back to work following last weeks’ successful agreements with the government, public health institutions remain strained as a huge chunk of the labour force continues with their strike.

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