Doctors from five counties issued a strike notice over claims of negligence and non-payment salaries at a time when the country is still struggling to flatten the curve of coronavirus.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) acting secretary-general Chibanzi Mwachonda accused the five countries of mistreating the medical practitioners.
“Despite the health workers diligently performing their duties, the county governments have continued to hold salaries causing them financial distress,” the secretary-general Mwachonda said.
The union official mentioned Meru, Mombasa, Nandi, Tharaka Nithi, and Trans Nzoia as the notorious counties hostile for health workers.
Mwachonda warned the county governments that if they fail to pay the doctors their May and June salaries then the union will call for industrial action.
According to Mwachonda, the medical practitioners have served the nation in the last three months diligently despite the myriad challenges they experience as such lack of adequate and quality Personal Protective Equipment, shortage of stars as well as salary delays.
“Covid-19 has resulted in excess mortality, reduced access to health care services, and overwhelmed health care system. It has demonstrated the need for a strengthened and resilient health care system,” he said.
The doctors’ union also complained about the non-implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2017-2021 by some counties.
“The union signed the CBA with all 47 counties and central government but the majority are yet to implement the terms and conditions of work, promotions, and health insurance,” he added.
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To address the issues affecting the health workers, the union reiterated the need for the Health Service Commission. It also urged the counties to implement all the clause of the CBA.
In 2020/202 budget proposal by the National Treasury Sh111.7 billion was set aside for the sector. Out of this Sh50.3, billion will be channeled to the universal health care implementations to all the counties.
While Sh1.2 billion will go to the health workers recruitment and Sh500 million will go towards buying and supplying hospitals with beds.