, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The Machakos County Government, branch officials of the Kenya Medical Practioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and Kenya National Union of Nurses have struck a deal to end the ongoing strike by health workers.
County Governor Alfred Mutua chaired a meeting between union branch officials in a bid to have the practioners resume duty as they await a comprehensive resolution of their grievances.
Mutua observed that the workers should resume duty immediately pending a final deal, as patients were suffering as a result of the standoff.
“I am happy to report that we have reached an agreement with the health workers over some of the demands raised by the county health workers.”
“The union has in turn agreed to ask the workers on their own volition to return to their work stations and continue offering services to their patients,” explained Mutua.
The County government offered to increase salaries and allowances and direct absorption of interns into open positions as part of the return-to-work formula.
The agreement reached further directed the county to increase the number of the health workers to ensure the doctor-patient ratio is improved.
Further, the county assured the workers that a Machakos Health Service Committee would be created within 14 days to oversee the implementation of incentives agreed upon.
The meeting also assured the workers that 10 staff vehicles would be purchased to transport the health workers that are on duty at the Level Four and Five Hospitals.
Sheikh Muhamed, Vice Chair Lower Eastern KMPDU assured workers in the area who resume their duties they will not be victimized adding that the incentives offered by Mutua’s administration were encouraging.
“We have agreed with the office of the Governor to continue offering services as we await a decision by our national officials.”
“We therefore call upon our members in Machakos County to resume work without fear of any intimidation,” said Muhamed.
Earlier on Monday, The Council of Governors stated that all health workers who did not report to their duties after the court ordered them to do so will not be paid their wages.
Addressing the media on Monday, the Council Chairman Isaac Ruto said that County Governments were already recruiting health workers for the County’s.
“All those who would want to work with County Governments are encouraged to apply for the positions that will be advertised,” he stated.
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union Secretary General Sultani Matendechero in response to the Governors’ stand said they would not be intimidated.
He maintained that despite the decision reached by Governors, the health workers were going to push on, until their concerns were addressed.