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Embu MCAs ask striking doctors to resume work or get sacked

The County Assembly of Embu has endorsed Governor Cecily Mbarire’s decision to replace striking doctors with part-time medics to maintain public health services.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) Upper Eastern Branch through Chairman Dr. Denis Mugambi, announced the start of a strike by its members Tuesday.

The medics ceased their operations due to various issues such as lack of promotions, non-remittance of statutory deductions, and denial of study leave.

The Governor has hired 21 stand-in doctors and clinical officers as a contingency measure to prevent a potential health crisis.

She nonetheless reiterated her commitment to engage the striking doctors in a consultative dialogue on the best solution to their grievances but said she would not hesitate to take action if they remain adamant and continue with the industrial action.

Ward Representatives led by Speaker Josiah Thiriku has called on the striking medics to come to the negotiation table to have their grievances addressed amicably.

The Speaker cautioned the doctors against holding the county at ransom through strikes in a bid to address their grievances.

Majority Leader Peter Murithi (Mbeti North) warned medical practitioners against arm-twisting the devolved unit to meet their demands, but instead pursue dialogue to iron out issues affecting their profession.

Similarly, County Assembly Health Committee Chairman Job Itumo (Mwea) urged the doctors to resume their duties as the leadership of their trade union engages the County Government to unlock the stalemate.

The leaders unanimously called for sacking of all striking medical personnel if they were unwilling to return to work.

County Assembly Finance Committee Chair Susan Nyaga (Kagaari South) said that there were countless jobless health professionals who were in desperate need for jobs and who would not hesitate to take up such positions if declared vacant.

The Ward Reps said they were in favor of fresh recruitment of new health workers as opposed to endless strikes meant to intimidate the County Government into yielding to their demands without consideration of the state of the county economy.

By Samuel Waititu

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