Health services paralysed in four counties

KMPDU Secretary General Davji Bhinji Atella addressing the media briefing on October 15, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Health services in four counties have been paralysed following a snub of duty by medics.

Medics from Bomet, Kisumu Nyamira and Vihiga Counties, lament they have had salary delays for the last couple of months.

On Wednesday, April 19, medics in Vihiga and Nyamira took to the streets to demand a sit down with their respective county governments.

“Our families are at home struggling. Our kids cannot go to school and most of us are unable to pay rent in due time yet we are at the forefront helping others,” said a nurse in Nyamira County.

In Kisumu county, patients were attended to by medical students while those who required special care remained stranded.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Dr Davji Atellah says doctors and all health practitioners in Nyamira, Vihiga and Kisumu will remain at home until their demands are met.

Atellah said that three counties, Bomet, Mombasa and Nyandarua, had reached out to the union and promised to pay. He said the counties have until the end of the week to honour their promise.

“There is no amount of intimidation that counties will try that will sort out the results of workers to get their rights. It is the responsibility of the county government to pay and take care of their workers,”said Atellah.

In a notice to 12 county chiefs on Saturday, medics from various health unions said they are unable to meet their day-to-day needs and are, therefore, unable to report to work.

The twelve counties that are likely to be affected by the decision include Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyamira, Kisii, Murang’a, Nyeri, Laikipia, Bomet, Nyandarua, Embu, Vihiga, and Taita Taveta.

“We regret to inform you that our members will not be able to attend work as scheduled from April 19, 2023. This is due to the non-payment of their previous month's salaries and statutory deductions and occasional delays in salary payment, which has left them in a difficult financial situation. 

“As a result, they are unable to meet their daily needs, including transportation, food, and accommodation expenses,” said the unions in a joint statement.