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

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nairobi - JULIUS OTIENO @juliu­so­tieno04

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.

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