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Services resume in public hospitals after counties promise to pay July salaries

By Mercy Kahenda | August 16th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Striking County workers march along Jomo Kenyatta Avenue in Kisumu on August 14, 2019 over delayed pay. [Denish Ochieng/Standard]

Striking medics in counties in the South Rift have agreed to resume work after governors promised to pay them.

Speaking yesterday in Nakuru, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) South Rift representative Devji Atellah said governors had assured the medics of getting their July pay today.

“The county chiefs have promised to pay salaries of all health workers by Friday (today). We have asked employees to resume work,” said Dr Atellah.

He insisted that in case the governors fail to pay the salaries, medics would boycott work again.

The counties that had been affected by the strike are Nakuru, Baringo, Narok, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Kericho and Bomet.

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In Nakuru, nurses and doctors met the county leadership on Tuesday when they were assured of their pay.

There are about 1,000 nurses and 100 doctors in Nakuru County.

In Baringo, nurses’ representative Francis Koros said all nurses have resumed work.

“If the county fails to honour its promise, we will resume the strike,” said Mr Koros. There are 540 nurses in Baringo.

In Kericho, the medics had been assured of receiving their salaries by yesterday, according to Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) representative Geoffrey Tarus.

Bomet County Health Executive Joseph Sitonik said the medics have started receiving their pay and depending on one’s bank some would get their cash ahead of others.

On Tuesday, the first day of the strike, Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital was among the health facilities most affected by the strike in the region.

The Level Five facility has a bed capacity of 900 and serves about 2,000 patients every day.

It admits patients from Nakuru and neighbouring counties such as Bomet, Kericho, Narok, Samburu, Laikipia, Nayndarua and Baringo.

The facility offers specialised care in oncology, cardiology and renal treatment among other services.

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