Laikipia County Government has dismissed 61 striking doctors who downed their tools three weeks ago over an unimplemented salary increase and promotions.
Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said that the striking doctors, most of whom are specialists in various fields, were served with their dismissal letters last Friday and ordered to vacate all health facilities in the area.
The doctors who are demanding a pay hike and backdated promotions, downed their tools early this month in a move to compel the county administration to heed their demands.
Governor Muriithi speaking today at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital stated that his administration was not in a position to increase salaries of the health workers and therefore decided to take the drastic action of sacking them after they failed to agree on a return to work formula.
“We made it very clear to the medics that their demands were unrealistic and therefore could not be met but they went on with the strike leaving us no option but to send them home,” Governor Muriithi said.
He added that the doctors were earning up to Sh 350,000 per month yet they were asking for more despite constraints on the local wage bill.
The governor further revealed that measures had been put in place to ensure operations in all the health facilities run smoothly since all the 24 doctors working as senior administrators had been deployed in wards to ease staff shortage.
He added that his government would soon advertise for vacancies to replace the medics.
However Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has termed the sacking of the medics as inconsequential and vowed to move to court to get an injunction against the move.
Through the KMPDU South Rift chair Davji Attellah, the union termed Laikipia County government as a hostile working environment for any health worker.
Attelah added that they were surprised when their members were given dismissal letters even after signing a return to work agreement with the county government.
By Martin Munyi