Health crisis looms in Kenya

November 27, 2011 2:37 pm


KNH nurses at a past strike/ FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – All medical support staff in public hospitals have now threatened to join the doctors strike set for December 5.

Union of Medical Professionals and Allied Staff National Secretary General Seth Sindany said on Sunday that they would paralyse services in the health institutions to push for better salaries.

“We want to inform our members that beginning December 5th, 2011 if the government has not responded to the grievances in the strike notice that was given to the (it)on November 21, there shall be no single health worker in any public hospital,” he vowed.

The union represents nurses, clinical officers, medical laboratory technologists, technicians and scientists, pharmaceutical technologists, social workers, non medical professionals working in health institutions, support staff, security personnel and all other health workers.

Besides a 600 percent wage increase, the unregistered union is demanding an implementation of the proposed extraneous allowance which is Sh5,000 for nurses and Sh20,000 for clinical officers.

They demanded that the allowance be backdated to July.

“We want the government to address with immediate urgency with the remaining days; immediate registration of the Union of Medical Professionals and Allied Staff,” he said.

Sindany observed that the poor scheme of service in the country has seen mass exodus of healthcare workers to Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

The latest development came as the country’s health ministries appealed to the doctors to reconsider their stand.

Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said his ministry and that of Public Health and Sanitation require extra funding to the tune of Sh10 billion per year for the next five years to address some of these issues raised.

Doctors have threatened to paralyse services in health institutions on December 5, to push for a 300 percent wage increase.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union Secretary-General Dr Boniface Chitayi, claimed the Government had ignored their petitions.

As a pre-condition to avert the strike, Chitayi said the Government must adopt a new scheme of service the union proposes.

“The pay for a doctor should go up by at least 300 percent. And the basic pay will only cater for the daytime work hours of 8am to 5pm, five days a week,” said the union official.


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