Resolve health workers stalemate speedily, Odinga urges National and county govts

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,6TH JAN,2021-ODM leader Raila Odinga has called on the two levels of government to move with speed and resolve the existing stalemate in the health sector.

Raila in a statement on Wednesday said Kenyans must not be kept permanently on the edge and worried over matters that can be sorted without much drama through intergovernmental discussions that the public need not know.

The opposition chief has further called on the parties involved to respect and implement return to work agreements once agreed upon, adding that failure to do so makes the government lose the capacity and authority to negotiate in future.

“Last Thursday, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief when health workers called off their strike after a return to work agreement signed by the ministry of health and KMPDU. The talks also included SRC and a representative from the Council of Governors,” Raila said.

“It is therefore shocking that hardly a week later, clinical offices are threatening to down their tolls again because the very same issues covered in the RTWF signed last week are not being implemented,” he added.

Raila noted that clinical officers provide care to most patients where specialized treatment is not required, adding that their threat to down their tools comes just after when schools in the country were reopened, and amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The strike threat also comes at a time two counties of Nyamira and Migori have their health systems paralysed by doctors’ strike that is hardly talked about and is running into two months now,” Raila said.

He added: “This is therefore a time we need all our health workers on duty or on standby, not on strike or being tossed around between the two levels of government.”

The CoG on Monday bolted out of the agreement signed with the unions after holding their extra-ordinary council meeting.

This has made the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers leadership issue a fresh strike notice should their agreement remain unsigned in full 48 hours; a period lapsing on Thursday.

The council chair Wycliffe Oparanya said the issues raised in the RTWF have huge monetary implication that have neither been factored in the current budget nor the forthcoming financial year.

He said this will require a special conditional grant allocated to each county for implementation of the said issues

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