Governors now want medical workers to resolve their issues on a county-by-county basis, saying lumping them together was erroneous as some of the issues raised were specific to only some counties.
At the same time, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi on Thursday lashed out at the national government for what he said was giving a deaf ear to the health workers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While he thanked the health workers in 22 counties who he said had continued at work as they address their grievances with the respective administrations, Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya told the medics on strike to quickly resolve the issues with the concerned counties.
“Most of the issues raised by the union are specific to the to certain counties and, therefore, not all. We urge the union to resolve the issues with the concerned counties,” Mr Oparanya said.
The four issues that cuts across counties and which were being addressed by a multi-agency committee headed by the Labour Cabinet Secretary, Mr Oparanya said, were conversion of all contractual employment to permanent and pensionable terms, enhancement of risk allowance, declaration of Covid-19 as an occupational work hazard and the establishment of a Health Service Commission.
Saying counties were owed Sh60 billion in monthly disbursements for October, November and December, Mr Oparanya said even then, all but two counties–which he did not name, had paid their salaries.
“The lives of all Kenyans mater and we can be able to pull through this pandemic together and save many lives. But we cannot do this with threats and bravado,” Mr Oparanya said.
In a statement, Mr Mudavadi, the ANC leader, said solutions should immediately be found as the health workers were Kenya’s frontline soldiers in the fight against the virus.
“We cannot have a government where leaders are just giving empty promises to the frontline workers in the health sector, especially during this trying moment where as a country we are facing a health crisis as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr Mudavadi said.
The ANC leader says complaints of lack of protective equipment was a clear dereliction of duty from the Mutahi Kagwe-led Ministry of Health.
“We have seen our friends, relatives and neighbours dying out of the COVID-19 Virus. This is no-longer something to be taken lightly, especially now when we have an ever- increasing number of medical staffs also succumbing to this virus. Why should the relevant government authorities wait for Doctors to go on strike before addressing their needs?” asked Mudavadi.
The ANC leader sent the statement when campaigning for Julius Mwachila Julia, ANC candidate in the Wundanyi/Mbale Ward, for the December 15 by-elections.