No pay for days not worked, Nyong’o tells striking doctors

He said withholding salaries for work not done is in line with Labour Relations Act.

In Summary
  • To address the current situation, Nyong'o said the county will urgently employ doctors on short-term contracts to ensure provision of essential healthcare services.
  • He said the county remains steadfast in upholding the highest standards of healthcare delivery and ensuing well-being of all residents.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.
Image: FILE

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has told striking doctors in the county that salaries for days not worked won’t be paid.

In a statement on Thursday, Nyong’o said a review of the grievances by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union indicates the county has complied with most of the issues contained in the 2017 CBA.

This, he said, includes the hiring of doctors, payment of salaries on time, provision of comprehensive medical cover, access to mortgage and loans, the release of doctors for further studies and promotion of healthcare workers.

“Only senior consultants await interviews and finalisation of the process as per the requirements,” Nyong’o said.

“However, despite all these efforts, a section of our health practitioners chose to walk out of their workstations, which is regrettable. Despite an active engagement over the same, these few practitioners have remained resolute,” he added.

Nyong’o said the County Cabinet convened to find a solution to the resultant crisis and after dialogue and consideration, decided that the county will not provide pay for work not done in line with the Labour Relations Act.

“Therefore, healthcare workers who have not been at their designated workplace and have withdrawn their services will not be remunerated for the corresponding period. The county secretary and the county service board have already been informed to take necessary action,” he said.

The doctors’ strike entered its 29th day on Thursday, April 11, with no end in sight as the medics actualised their resolve to boycott work until the 2017 CBA was fully implemented.

They rejected the national government's offer of Sh2.4 billion for the deployment of intern doctors, a key grievance that informed the strike.

Nyong’o said, “posting of interns is beyond the county’s scope of engagement”.

He, however, said the county hired 14 doctors in 2021, ten in 2022 and a further eight in 2023.

“Promotion of healthcare workers including doctors has been ongoing and the county has effected promotions in 2016, 2019 [and] 2022 with the most recent promotion letters issued in March 2024,” Nyong’o said.

He said the county remains steadfast in upholding the highest standards of healthcare delivery and the ensuing well-being of all residents.

The county boss, however, said the strike has precipitated a crisis, especially at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Training and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) where doctors on postgraduate training have withdrawn services.

“To address the current situation, the county will urgently employ doctors on short-term contracts to ensure the provision of essential healthcare services to our community using the savings made,” Nyong’o said.

Additionally, he said, all workers undergoing speciality training at JOOTRH will henceforth be required to establish service-level agreements with the hospital.

“This measure is aimed to ensure predictability and clear accountability for service delivery,” Nyong’o said as he extended appreciation to healthcare workers who have continued to offer services at public healthcare facilities.

“Your commitment and professionalism are invaluable and deeply appreciated. I urge all stakeholders in the sector to continue engaging in constructive dialogue to find lasting solutions that prioritise the health and welfare of our communities.”

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