Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Doctors in Laikipia County down their tools

Doctors  in  public hospitals in Laikipia County downed their tools on Tuesday, over what they termed as non implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the County government.

Before the kick off of the strike, the medics had on May, 24, 2019 issued a notice to the County government through Kenya Medics Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU).

The notice signed by KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Olugu, pointed out that the County government had failed to respond to the medic’s matters pertaining to right job group and nonpayment of arrears arising from delayed promotions among others.

The strike comes at a time the County government was struggling to reduce its wage bill which currently stands at 56 percent of the total budget and the law requires that the wage bill should not exceed 35 percent of the total County revenue.

Currently, there are over 40 doctors working in various health facilities in the County who are on study leave for nearly four years, and they are still on the pay roll.

A  Visit  to Nanyuki, Teaching and referral hospital this morning revealed that services are going on well despite the
strike.

Speaking  to  the press at the Hospital grounds, the County Government Secretary, Karanja Njora said measures had been  employed in all the hospitals within the county, to ensure that the absence of the doctors who had absconded duty was not going to interrupt services delivery.

He  pointed  out that promotion of doctors and other staff working for the County government is an ongoing process and  should  not be a reason for any of them to boycott work.

“Indeed, doctors working in our health facilities are not the worst paid as they would like Kenyans to believe. They are  among  the highest paid civil servants with an entry salary of Sh.236, 000 and the highest currently at Sh.428, 000 the County Secretary added.

Njora  noted  that  Laikipia County’s  total  budget  was  Sh.2.6 billion  out  of  which  Sh.1.6 billion  goes  to  the health  department.

The  Secretary  added that salaries for the 131 doctors working in the area account for 30 percent of the income which  translates to Sh.442 million of the health wage bill per annum.

The  former Kisii County Commissioner said currently, there is no doctor in Laikipia who is not confirmed, and their
promotion is based on two parameters of common cadre and Competitiveness in terms of qualifications pegged on availability  of vacancies and meeting the requirements in the scheme of service.

Njora observed that 40 doctors were promoted in January this year, eighty were employed and 46 sponsored for senior  management course at the Kenya School of government.

He  added that the County government held a meeting with the doctors last week, where it was agreed that they present their  present data or documents indicating that his government had undertaken to meet their demands “but of which they had  decided not to adhere to up to now.”

By  Margaret  Kirera

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