, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday asked Governors to seek alternative solutions to ensure that health facilities in their counties continue running if the strike by medical personnel persists.
The Head of State explained that the industrial action taken by the health workers contravenes their Hippocratic Oath and basic principles of humane consideration for fellow Kenyans.
“In the event of continued disagreement, we encourage Governors to make urgent alternative arrangements to ensure all health facilities in their Counties are manned and operational.”
“Kenyans have a right to receive essential services and this is not a matter to be negotiated,” Kenyatta stressed.
He urged the union officials not to be pompous in their demands adding that their current boycott of their work stations is jeopardizing the lives of patients.
“I urge the unions involved in the strike to think, not of their personal interests, but the thousands of Kenyans who are suffering.”
“I call upon all the doctors and other health workers who are on strike to resume work immediately so as to relieve the pain and anguish that Kenyans are currently enduring,” he added.
Kenyatta observed that the essence of devolution of health services is to bring them closer to the people and the matter is non-negotiable.
He assured of his government’s promise not to infringe on the Constitution adding that the current demands by the health workers are not viable.
“My government is committed to fully implementing the Constitution, and especially the provisions on devolution.”
“We must therefore give devolution a chance to work,” said the Head of State.
Health workers had petitioned a court to stop devolution of the health service to the counties, but they lost the bid on Wednesday.
The chairman of the Commission for the implementation of the Constitution Charles Nyachae on Tuesday explained that demands made by the health workers to stop the devolution process would only be achieved through a referendum.
Nyachae added that the threats made by the Governors to sack the workers were unconstitutional and they will only aggravate the current stalemate.
“No course of action including dismissal or appointments should be undertaken without respect of the individual employee, recognition of terms of service as provided for in the Constitution,” he said.