Health facilities across Homa Bay County to resume operations after health workers called off their one-month strike.
All health workers who include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, clinical officers and laboratory technicians downed their tools on August 3 to demand their salary arrears and allowances for June and July.
The strike paralysed services in all public health facilities in the county.
The situation caused a setback in the fight against Covid-19 as all the treatment centres were closed due to lack of health personnel to man them.
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But on Wednesday evening, the health workers and the county government arrived at a consensus to end the strike.
In a negotiation led by Homa Bay County secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Finance CECM Nicholas Koriko and his health counterpart Richard Muga, the health workers agreed to resume duty.
In a joint statement from the health workers’ unions issued by Nyanza region Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) chairman Kevin Osuri, the health workers said they had been paid the salaries and allowances they were demanding.
“We have been paid all the dues we were demanding from the county government. We have agreed that salaries for the subsequent months will be paid by 8th of the succeeding month,” Osuri said.
Osuri said all the health workers’ unions had agreed that their members would return to work with immediate effect.
“As unions, we are communicating with our members to resume work immediately,” Osuri said.
Ogwe said they had made arrangements to ensure workers are paid salaries at the right time in the county.
“I apologise for the salary delay which made the health workers down their tools. It was not our wish but because of the stalemate which has marred division of revenue bill in the Senate,” Ogwe said.
He expressed concerns that they were in September yet the county had not received funds for the current financial year.
The medics’ strike predisposed lives of many residents of the county to risks of death due to inability to afford healthcare in private health facilities.
“Many residents of this county could not afford healthcare in private health facilities due to limited income,” said Michael Ogalo, resident.