Embu MCAs demand striking medics sacked

Embu MCAs demand striking medics sacked

Embu  MCAs have supported Governor Cecily Mbarire’s decision to replace striking medical professionals to maintain public health services temporarily.

The governor sent in a team of locum tenens physicians to prevent a crisis. On Tuesday, the local chapter of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU), led by Chairman Dr. Denis Mugambi, announced the beginning of a strike by its members. This strike would have stopped entirely health services.

In addition to reiterating her commitment to consult with the trade unionists of the medical staff regarding the best course of action for resolving their grievances, Governor Mbarire declared that if the medical staff persisted in downing their instruments, she would not hesitate to take decisive administrative action.Speaker Josiah Thiriku’s ward representatives are now urging the striking healthcare workers to drop their threats to seriously impair county hospitals’ operations and come to the bargaining table to settle their complaints amicably.

The Speaker advised physicians not to use strikes as extortion against the county.

Medical professionals should hold roundtable discussions to resolve issues affecting their profession rather than using force to get the County Government to comply with their demands, Majority Leader Peter Murithi “Kobole” (Mbeti North) cautioned.

Hardline positions, he said, would not be desirable.

Similarly, Job Itumo (Mwea), the County Assembly Health Committee chairman, urged the striking doctors to return to work. At the same time, the trade union leadership speaks with the County Government to break the impasse that has nearly stopped operations in the county health sector.

During a news conference held at the Embu Level Five Hospital, the leaders unitedly demanded that all striking medical staff be fired if they refused to return to work and that all public health facilities in the county resume operations. At the same time, they await the resolution of their grievances.

As MCAs accused doctors of behaving like goons and using industrial action to intimidate the County Government into submission, they also pointed out that many unemployed medical professionals were in dire need of work and would gladly accept such positions if they became available.

The Ward Representatives support new hires in the medical field over prolonged strikes.

The chairperson of the Finance Committee, Susan Wairimu, said that although the County Government was willing to hire more people to increase staff, clear statutory deduction arrears, promote doctors, and enhance overall working conditions, the county was not doing well financially and needed more time.

The County Government has hired nine private and retired Registered Clinical Officers from Embu and surrounding counties on a locum basis; five are working at the Level Five Hospital and two each at the Runyenjes, Ishiara, Siakago, and Kiritiri Level Four Hospitals. Currently, the County Government depends on ten contract doctors who are not unionisable and cannot participate in the strike.

Additionally, Health Promotion Officers have been reclassified by Governor Mbarire’s administration to carry out nursing duties throughout the strike. To reduce workloads and prevent service disruptions by striking physicians, all healthcare workers on leave have also been called back. Security has also been stepped up in all public health facilities.

Read also: https://zungukatv.com/education/tsc-striking-teachers-to-be-fired-before-being-cornered/


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