Nurses have resumed duty in Tharaka-Nithi County after reaching a deal with Governor Muthomi Njuki.
The governor has agreed to pay annual uniform allowance of Sh50,000 and Sh10,000 monthly as risk allowance, which were part of the demands in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) the health workers were pushing for.
Nurses went on a national strike on June 5, 2017 to push for the implementation of their CBA.
“Our nurses have resumed duty and residents can comfortably get services in all public health facilities,” said Mr Njuki on Wednesday.
The county boss also updated all the pending statutory deduction remittances, including bank loans, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
County Health chief officer Lucy Karimi said the nurses slowly started resuming duty two weeks ago.
“Health services have fully resumed in all or health facilities,” she said.
Ms Karimi added that inpatient services that had not been offered in the county facilities for almost a year had resumed.
A spot check by the Nation at Chuka County Referral Hospital and Tharaka Sub-County Hospital established that patients were being treated.
County Health director Dr Edward Munyi said health facilities were running smoothly as the new county administration had made health a priority.
Mr Fabian Marigu, the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) county branch chairman, said they had resumed duty but were still demanding for the implementation of the entire CBA by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
He said that though nurses had gone back to work, it was not practical for any county to promise to implement the CBA without funds from SRC.
The unionist blamed the stalemate on Council of Governors’ chairman Josphat Nanok and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.
Governor Njuki recently said the health sector was becoming a burden to county governments, and should be managed by the national government.
He said Kenyans should vote in a referendum to return the health function to the national government.
On Wednesday, the countrywide nurses’ strike entered its 129th day.