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Tharaka-Nithi health workers threaten strike over pay delay

Thursday September 26 2019

Magutuni Sub-County Hospital

Magutuni Sub-County Hospital in Maara Constituency, Tharaka-Nithi County. Health workers in the county have threatened to paralyse services from September 30 if the county government will not have paid them their August and September salaries. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

ALEX NJERU
By ALEX NJERU
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Health workers in Tharaka-Nithi County have threatened to boycott duty from September 30 if the county government will not have paid them their August and September salaries and remitted various pending statutory deductions.

In a statement issued Thursday, Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Tharaka-Nithi Chapter Secretary General Fabian Marigu, his Laboratory Union counterpart Nicholas Gitonga and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers colleague Godfrey Mwenda, said they are tired of empty promises by the employer.

DELAYED SALARIES

“If our employer will not have paid August and September salaries and remitted all statutory deductions to relevant institutions by September 30, there will be no healthcare services in all our public health facilities,” said Mr Marigu.

SUFFERING

Mr Mwenda said health workers are seriously suffering because they cannot access medical services unless they pay in cash because the employer has not been remitting the monthly premiums since July this year.

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“We have sick health workers sleeping in their houses because their medical insurance is inactive and they have no money to pay in cash because they have not been paid salaries for last month,” said Mr Mwenda.

BLAME GAME

Mr Gitonga said every time they ask the Health department about their pay and remittance of the various statutory deductions, they shift the blame to national government accusing it of delaying money.

“Healthcare professionals in this county have been patient for long with hopes that issues will be resolved but nothing seems to be forthcoming,” said Mr Gitonga.

Efforts to speak to County Health Executive Gichuiyia Nthuraku proved futile since he did not pick our calls or respond to text messages.

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