KISUMU, Kenya, Jun 23 – The County Government of Kisumu has allocated Sh250 million to pay salary arrears for newly promoted doctors.
The announcement by the County Executive Committee Member for Health came as doctors within the county started their strike midnight on Saturday accusing the county government of failure to implement a return to work formula they signed in March.
Nerry Achar on Saturday said doctors will be promoted and placed in the required job groups.
He said the promotions will take effect from July 1 however salary payments will commence on September 30.
Addressing a press conference at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Achar also said the county will refund doctors the amount they incurred in medical bills due to lapses in National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
He further announced that the county will pay all the pending statutory deductions by June 30.
Achar appealed to the striking doctors to call off the strike and work with the county government to sort out the merging grievances.
The doctors on Friday announced they will withdraw their services beginning midnight Saturday citing Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o administration’s unwillingness to effect promotions agreed upon in a return to work formula signed in March.
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Nyanza branch Chairperson Dr Kevin Osuri said the doctors have reached a point of no return after unfulfilled promises.
Osuri said the county government had been served with a notice with a notice of an impending strike by the union but it did not respond.
He said doctors are demanding the implementation of agreed upon issues in a 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement which include promotions.
“The staled promotion for doctors has denied doctors in earnings of Sh. 208 million, these are statistics with the county government,” he indicated.
Osuri said doctors have stagnated in their positions for long.
He said an industrial action is the only means available to compel the county government to respond to their concerns.
Osuri cited the failure to include the medics in the comprehensive National Hospital Insurance Fund as one of the clearest demonstration of the county’s unwillingness to address the concerns of doctors.
“Doctors in Kisumu county offer services which themselves they cannot afford,” he said.