, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has ordered the recruitment of health workers in various capacities to fill the gap left by those on strike.
Speaking during a press conference at City Hall, Kidero said the recruitment to be undertaken by the County Public Service Board will see the employment of 60 doctors, 436 nurses, 47 clinical officers and 20 laboratory technicians.
He pointed out that the fresh recruits will be deployed to Mbagathi, Pumwani and Mama Lucy hospitals.
“People who have qualifications in the areas that I have mentioned need to report to the Medical Superintendents at the Mama Lucy, Pumwani and Mbagathi hospitals,” he announced.
He indicated that patients were suffering as a result of the strike and termed the situation as unacceptable.
He further gave an ultimatum to interns, who have joined the strike to report to work by Monday evening or forfeit their positions in health facilities.
“What I have found absurd is that even interns who are still on training whose registration will be dependent on them being signed off by consultants who are working have even joined on the strike. I am giving them until 4 O’clock this afternoon to return. If they do not do so, we will not take them for training, we will lay them off,” he said.
Kidero termed the demands by the health workers, as unreasonable saying, that it would require a referendum to bring about the changes they were seeking.
“Those who were giving services have abandoned their work. People including children are dying. We know that if you train to be a doctor, there is that Hippocratic Oath to give of themselves while in the profession of medicine and these health workers have abandoned it,” he said.
Kidero said that advertisements for the positions will be aired on electronic media as well as print media on Tuesday.
The order for fresh recruitment follows the strike which started last week to force the National Government to reconsider paying health workers through the counties.
It also came as the Council of Governors was meeting to discuss the way forward in ending the six-day impasse.
The Council Chairman Isaac Ruto told Capital FM News that among the things they will be discussing is the possibility of increasing salaries and promotion of the health workers to higher job grades.
The Bomet Governor says that they are seeking to end the problem in the health sector to enable citizens’ access to services are uninterrupted.
He however stated that what is being demanded is impossible as the stopping of devolution to the counties would require a referendum.
He further said that the health Act has nothing to do with the devolution of health services with the counties and called on the workers to interpret it correctly.
He urged the medics to return to work so as to save the suffering of Kenyans.
Kenyatta National Hospital is the only hospital in Nairobi County which has not been paralysed following the country wide strike.
On Monday, the High Court extended an order blocking the strike to December 24 after the Attorney General said his office had been unable to serve the notice due to public holidays last week.