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Kabogo Threatens To Sack Striking Doctors, Advertise Vacant Health Workers’ Posts.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has ordered the striking doctors and health workers in the county to resume work or risk being sacked.

While meeting Thika town small scale traders and hawkers at Thika sub county offices, the governor urged the doctors to report to duty in their own interest as the county government could not continue paying them especially after the court ruled it illegal.

“Our hospitals are currently relying on consultants for emergency services. It’s too unfortunate that Kenyans will continue to suffer because of a few people,” he said.

Doctors working in Kenyan state hospitals went on strike on Monday the 5th December 2016 to demand fulfillment of a 2013 agreement between their union and the government that would raise their pay and improve working conditions.

Kabogo has now said his government would declare health workers’ posts vacant and advertise them should the striking personnel fail to resume their duties before next week.

“We have spent a lot in the health sector; we are very disappointed because if we are not treating people, it means we are not fulfilling a core government agenda,” he said.

The medics are demanding a 300% pay increment for doctors, and 25 to 40% rise for nurses. They are also asking a review of working conditions, job structures, criteria for promotions, and under-staffing of medical professionals in state hospitals.

Previously, the government had offered a Sh. 50,000 increase for the lowest paid doctors, which would raise their salaries to Sh. 176,000, but unions rejected it and walked out of talks.

The Labour Relations court has already declared the strike illegal and ordered the doctors to resume work immediately. It directed union officials to call off the strike, noting paralysed operations had led to the deaths of about 20 people.

Public hospitals have been abandoned for almost a month now leaving patients stranded while thousands of others were discharged prematurely from deserted hospitals. Those seeking treatment were turned away.

More than 100 patients escaped from the country's sole psychiatric hospital in Nairobi (Mathari Hospital) as the strike began, according to police commander Japheth Koome. At a hospital in western Kenya a security guard was forced to assist a woman give birth and an orphaned child was left alone in another hospital with no one to assist her transfer to another hospital.

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