COVER, PROMOTION STANDOFF

Kisii doctors strike a big joke, says Ongwae

Governor says no issues were raised at a meeting with medics on Monday, a day before the strike started

In Summary

• Ongwae said that his government is among a few that takes the interest of doctors’ serious saying that the medics never raised any issue during a meeting on Monday.

• He says he has already discussed the matter with NHIF.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae has criticised county doctors for their strike, saying the work boycott was a big joke.

The doctors on Tuesday walked off the job over what they said was the county government's failure to honour a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2017.

The medics issued a strike notice last week, saying the county had not accorded them comprehensive National Hospital Insurance Fund cover and promotion.

 

But Ongwae on Wednesday accused the doctors of malice, saying the strike was meant to paint his administration in bad light.

The governor said the strike was a big joke, considering his government's serious take on the welfare of medics. He said no issues were raised during a meeting with the doctors on Monday.

“The county government has fully sponsored 57 doctors who are currently undergoing specialised training in and outside the country. I do not know what else they want,” Ongwae told the Star on phone.

Issues ranging from study leaves, promotions and the medical cover were discussed during the Monday meeting, Ongwae said.

“I have already discussed with NHIF that is why I assured them of their medical cover. They (the doctors) should be realistic,” Ongwae said.

He said some doctors have been promoted even though they have not undergone a management course as required in the national scheme of service.

“I held a meeting with the doctors on Monday where we discussed and agreed on a number of issues. I was surprised that they decided to down tools even after successful discussions,” Ongwae said.

 

He said the county held the welfare of medics in high regard and that is why "some doctors have been promoted on grounds that they will undergo the management course as required."

Ongwae said the doctors were being incited by individuals from Homa Bay and Nyamira counties which he said are far behind Kisii in terms of better welfare.