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Striking medics get additional Sh208m

By Kennedy Gachuhi | January 2nd 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Nakuru County Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee chair Joel Karuri (centre) with his vice-chair Anthony Rotich (Right) and Majority leader Moses Ndung'u enter the assembly on August 19, 2020. [File, Standard]

Nakuru County Assembly has passed a supplementary budget allowing the executive to spend an additional Sh208 million on health workers this financial year.

The allocation is part of a Sh727 million supplementary budget tabled in the House by Budget and Appropriation Committee Chairperson Joel Karuri and passed by MCAs. 

Karuri said out of the additional funding received from the National Treasury, the county government had considered the health department following the current strike by health workers and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“An additional allocation of Sh208, 824,648 has been made to the Health Department. This shall be spent on salaries, promotions and allowances of health workers in the department,” he said.

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In this year’s financial allocation, the health department had been allocated the lion’s share of the country’s Sh14 billion budget at Sh6.6 billion followed by the department of infrastructure at Sh2.6 billion.

Earlier this year, the county public service board recruited 293 health workers on a three-year contract at a cost of Sh210 million. Those hired include nurses, clinical officers, lab technologists and nutritionists.

Health workers across the country have downed their tools accusing the government of ignoring their grievances, paralysing the health sector.

Contracted workers

At the county’s main facility, Nakuru Level Five Hospital, there is a drop in the number of patients seeking medical attention. The patients were served by contracted health workers.

Karuri said the supplementary budget was passed following the additional funding received by the county after Parliament passed the County Allocation of Revenue Bill 2020.

“Nakuru was among the counties that benefited from the third generation formula on revenue allocation, which was passed in October and saw the county gain Sh727,950,000 on top of the earlier projections,” he said.

The Budget Committee had given a provisional figure of Sh9,748,400,000 as the county’s equitable share of revenue, which has now been enhanced to Sh10,476,150,000.

Keringet MCA Anthony Kiprono lauded the committee and the executive for the additional allocation to the health department. “We are glad that the administration has considered the plight of our people bearing the brunt of the ailing health sector. We hope that this additional funding will go a long way in resolving the stalemate,” he said.

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