Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has threatened that health workers who are on strike will be fired.
The CS on Saturday directed county governments to advertise vacancies for healthcare workers, mostly nurses, who downed tools recently in protest of what they termed as a neglection of frontline workers at a time when the country is fighting Covid-19.
He urged over 8,000 unemployed nurses to apply for the vacancies once advertised.
“Wale ambao wako nje ambao wanataka kazi na wanataka kuendelea na kazi wakati huu ndio sasa walete barua zao waajiriwe kazi na hiyo maneno iishie hapo. Lakini sana sana tungependa kuendelea na wale ambao tuko nao tussikizane vizuri tuendelee na kazi. Hiyo ndio ile Krismasi ingekuwa mzuri. Hatutaki mtu kusema mwaka uliopita alikuwa na kazi and then next year you are a statistic for jobless people,” he said.
The CS was speaking on the sidelines of the funeral of former Cabinet Minister Joseph Nyagah in Mbeere, Embu County.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) is demanding compensation of families of 26 nurses who succumbed to Covid-19 before resuming duty.
Addressing members of the press a fortnight ago, KNUN Secretary-General Seth Panyako said that a total of 23,000 nurses are on strike and will only resume duty when their demands are met by the government.
“We have about 26,000 nurses, but those from Kenyatta National Hospital ad Moi Teaching and Referral will not down tools because the two institutions had made arrangements with the nurses,” said Panyako.
“How many nurses must die for the government to come in? We need an insurance cover for our nurses before we can go back to work,” he said.
The nurses union boss further said that the government must clear all pending salaries before the workers can resume duty.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has vowed to lobby its members to down tools from Monday, December 21, 2020, after failing to strike a deal with the government.
The doctors had suspended their strike two weeks ago to give room for dialogue.
“Effective Monday 21st December 2020, 00:00 hrs the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union wishes to inform members of the Kenyan Public that doctors will withdraw their labour in accordance with article 41 of Kenyan Constitution due to unresolved issues after 8 months of engagement between KMPDU and the Government of Kenya and lapse of the 21 day Strike Notice issued on 16th November 2020 and suspended for an additional 14 days, ” a notice issued on Saturday reads.
According to the union, the following cadres of doctors will participate in the strike: Medical Officer Interns, Pharmacists, Pharmacist Interns, Dentists, Dental Officer Interns, Medical Specialists (Consultants), Medical Officers, all medical superintendents, county directors of health, doctor administrators and sub-county medical officers.
PUBLIC NOTICE ON THE DOCTORS STRIKE!! pic.twitter.com/qI32IrVNxo
— KMPDU (@kmpdu) December 19, 2020
The strike will further throw the health care system into a crisis as many Kenyans remain unattended in public hospitals amid the Covid-19 menace.