Medical Workers on Strike Amid Coronavirus Scare

  • The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists' Union (KMPDU) members protest at the Provincial General Hospital Nakuru on December 2013.
    The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists' Union (KMPDU) members protest at the Provincial General Hospital Nakuru on December 2013.
    Daily Nation
  • As Kenyans continue to wonder how the government will stop the coronavirus epidemic from hitting the country, medical workers in Kisumu have gone on strike. 

    Residents are facing a hard time accessing medical services at the public health facilities due to the ongoing strike.

    The medics boycotted work from Saturday, February 22, citing lack of payment for their January salaries, something that has left them in a dire cash crunch.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, a correspondent at the county indicated that the workers gave a notice for the strike on Friday, February 21, but the county never took action.

    “A few workers claim to have been paid but the majority are yet to receive their salaries. The workers vowed not to report back to work until all payments are done.

    “The County Government of Kisumu has not yet reached a conclusive step in ensuring the workers are back to work,” remarked the source.

    This has led to crippling of medical services at the Kisumu county hospital and other county medical centres.

    The officials from the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco) and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (Kumlo) held a meeting on Friday, February 21 where they vowed not to report to work until the county paid their pending salaries in full.

    In a report by The Standard, the workers also laid claims of unremitted statutory deductions to their specific subscriptions.

    Kuco Secretary Craus Okumu blamed Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration for failing to pay their January salaries, which he said had left the workers in depression.

    Okumu also stated that the county had failed to meet its end of a deal that they signed, stating that payments must be released by the fifth of every month.

    “We have been waiting for pay but only to receive circulars and memos, which are not helping us to get our salaries as we require,” remarked Okumu.

    The officials also claimed that some check off loan remittances to banks by counties stopped in September yet the money is deducted from their salaries.