Striking doctors defy sacking threat and cite broken pledges
Kaugiria says the county has only issued 32 letters, contrary to agreement that it would confirm all 118 doctors on probation for over six months
Patients in Nairobi hospitals will continue to suffer and seek help elsewhere after 200 striking doctors defied sacking threats by the county.
Doctors have been on strike for five weeks — three weeks in September and two weeks this month. They cite delayed salaries, deductions and promotions.
The county says all issues have been addressed.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Dentists and Pharmacists Union accused the county of failing to honour its pledges.
KMPDU Nairobi branch secretary general Thuranira Kaugiria said the county has only issued 32 confirmation letters, contrary to the agreement that it would confirm all 118 doctors on probation for more than six months. “Instead of the employer — the county government — honouring what they have promised on two occasions, they have resorted to issuing threats of sacking officers and going to court,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Kaugiria said the county promoted 53 doctors to the “wrong job groups, disregarding the Schemes of Service guidelines.” “More than 150 doctors are affected with issues of pending confirmations and promotions and job group re-designation,” he said.
The doctors went on strike early in September, saying salaries and promotions had been delayed. They called off their three-week strike on September 30, after signing a return-to-work formula with Governor Evans Kidero’s government. But they resumed their strike on October 14, demanding promotion and remittance of statutory and non-statutory deductions.
On Monday, county secretary Robert Ayisi ordered roll call of working doctors and threatened to sack more than 200 strikers. He told “any willing and qualified doctors” without jobs to report to superintendents of all level four hospitals for part-time positions.
Ayisi said the county has addressed all the issues the doctors raised and accused them of being insincereand subjecting residents to pain and suffering. “The county will continue assessing the situation and may advertise vacancies for recruitment of suitable candidates,” he told journalists at City Hall.
Yesterday, county assembly Health committee chairman Manoah Mboku said striking doctors should be sacked for holding the county to ransom. He said all issues have been addressed.
At the weekend, Health executive Bernard Muia said the county has paid the Sh34 million salary arrears demanded by doctors last month. He said they promoted all the 52 pending common cadre (Group N) doctors last week.