Kisumu County Governor Anyang Nyong’o has given striking healthcare workers until Saturday to resume work or be sacked.
Nyong’o said the medics had no justification whatsoever to abandon helpless patients.
“We call upon the health workers to come back to work by latest Saturday, anybody who doesn’t come back to work will have been deemed to have voluntary abandoned their position,” he said.
While defending the county’s health department, the governor said there were no outstanding issues between the county and the workers.
The governor made the remarks a day after doctors joined nurses and clinical officers in a nation wide strike even as Covid-19 continues to ravage the country.
Just like the nurses and clinical officers unions, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), accuses the government of neglecting the welfare, safety and health of healthcare workers.
According to the union, the medics have no medical insurance, workman injury benefits and compensation and also lack Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) hence increased risk of infection.
The medics are also demanding that the government clears all pending salaries before resuming duty.
As of November, at least 30 healthcare workers including 10 specialist doctors, had succumbed to Covid-19.
Nurses and clinical workers downed their tools a fortnight ago after the government failed to address their concerns.
The strike saw many Kenyans remain unattended in public hospitals.
The doctors had suspended their strike which was scheduled to begin on December 7 to give room for dialogue.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had on Saturday also threatened to have the striking medics fired.
The CS directed county governments to advertise vacancies for the striking healthcare workers.
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.