Elgeyo-Marakwet health workers give strike notice

Tuesday June 18 2019

Iten County Referral Hospital

Patients wait to be attended to at Iten County Referral Hospital in Elgeyo-Marakwet. Health workers in Elgeyo-Marakwet on June 18, 2019 issued a strike notice over what they say is failure by the county government to heed to their demands. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

EVANS KIPKURA
By EVANS KIPKURA
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Health workers in Elgeyo-Marakwet have issued a strike notice over what they say is failure by the county government to heed to their demands.

The workers, comprising of doctors and clinical officials, have indicated failure to promote them, re-designation of qualified health workers and lack of employment of new staff as the key issues they want addressed.

According to Dr Chebasa Kipsang, a Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union county official, the health workers will down their tools from July 1 should their demands not be met before then.

NO PROMOTIONS

“No health worker has been promoted from 2016. We seek to ask why this is happening,” said Dr Kipsang on Tuesday.

He stated that most health workers who have gone for further studies and added value to their professions are still deployed by the county government under the same positions and job groups they were in before the studies.

“There is a lot of burnout among health workers in Elgeyo-Marakwet County,” said Mr Mark Kipsang, the branch secretary of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers.

NO NEW STAFF

He added that the county has not employed a single health worker or replaced the retirees and those affected by natural attrition since 2014.

But County Executive for Health Kiprono Chepkok rubbished the strike threat, saying although he has received the notice, the county does not recognise it.

“The law is very clear that health officials cannot call for a strike. It is only the secretary-general at the head office who has the powers to do that,” said the CEC.

Dr Chepkok added that some of the signatories in the notice are not recognised as officials of any health unions and, therefore, he does not expect any health worker to take it seriously.

But he stated that the issues raised in the notice are tenable and they can be discussed without the health workers going on strike.