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Another hard blow for striking nurses’

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The striking nurses demands of service and uniform allowances has been hit with another blow after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) said it has not approved the remittance.

This implies that the County governments have no mandate to pay any allowances to the nurses without the commission’s approval.

The County governments that have paid the nurses the said allowances have been instructed to recover the funds. They include Mombasa, Kwale, Machakos and Migori.

According to the SRC, the counties will be expected to pay estimated Sh3.4 billion for the said allowances yearly which will in turn affect the health sector.

The Ministry of Health and the Council of Governors have indicated that they have no budgetary provision and funds to cater for payment of the allowances. Besides being unaffordable and unsustainable, the allowances if paid, will occasion a ripple effect in the Health sector,” stated SRC.

Further, it adds that a number of counties have communicated that they cannot afford to pay the amount demanded by nurses, while other counties have confirmed budgetary.

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“Such will contribute to a high public wage-bill that is a big threat to the development priorities and enhanced service delivery. Additionally it will create fiscal deficit, leading to unsustainable levels of public debt that will result in the loss of competitiveness of the economy, ultimately impacting negatively on growth and employment,” it added.

The same thoughts were shared by President uhuru Kenyatta last week when he ordered the striking nurses to resume duties or be sacked.

Some nurses are reported to have gone back to work while thousands are still on strike in at least 15 counties.

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The strike entering its third week has crippled the healthcare services at public hospitals and centers in some counties at the expense of poor Kenyans who continue to anguish for lack of medical care.

The nurses vowed not to return to work until their demands, which they were promised in 2017 in a retun-to-work-formula are honored.

The service and uniform allowance were to be raised to Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 respectively.

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Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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