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Tharaka-Nithi Recalls Health Workers on Leave as Doctors’ Strike Widens in the Country

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Kenyan doctors have been on a weeks-long strike since around March 15 in their push for better pay and working conditions, and Tharaka-Nithi county is on a new path to salvage its healthcare sector.

Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki is calling on health workers who are on leave to go back to work today, Monday, April 15, to take care of the ill patients who will be seeking medical services at government hospitals around that county.

Doctors in the country have been staging ongoing walkouts to demand payment of their salary arrears and increments to match what they agreed in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the immediate hiring of trainee doctors.

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However, the government decried a huge wage bill coupled with financial pressures, thus unable to review their salaries.

“I am telling our friends, the doctors, that we mind about them. We value the service they give to our nation. But we have to live within our means,” President William Ruto said.

Several government officials, including the police, have said that the protests held by the doctors are illegal, unlawful and unwarranted, and their demonstrations obstructive and disruptive to the free flow of vehicles and movement of people in several towns, the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome said, warning of severe action.

On his part, Governor Muthomi Njuki said that the doctors who claimed to be on strike in his county ought to have returned to work by last Friday because the courts had suspended the strike.

“We have instructions to take all the necessary disciplinary actions against any of the striking doctors and clinical officers who have not resumed duty by Friday, the 12th day of April 2024,” said the Governor.

He added that he is unaware of any industrial action by other practitioners in the sector, and laboratory technicians, nutritionists, dietitians and others should be at work as normal as well, as those who fail to appear will be laid off and replaced immediately.

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JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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