Mr Phelomen Nakoche the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Busia Branch addressing the press

Kenya Union of clinical officers in Busia County downed their tools from midnight on the 14th of July 2023 to pressurize the county government to respond to their demands.

According to the Union leadership, the 14 days strike notice they issued to the county government expired, and they will stay away from the workstations, a move that will paralyze medical services in all public hospitals across the county.

Mr Phelomen Nakoche, the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, noted that they have been trying to get to the governor to address challenges facing the health sector in vain.

The group’s secretary general said that they were not paid the arrears during the transition, but the government has failed to address the issue.

“Nobody is telling us who ate the areas that were meant for salaries. The money was supposed to have been returned to the treasury, but we have information it never found its way to the treasury. Salaries of the staff are a recurrent expenditure, it is budgeted every year. It does not need the supplementary if the money was put aside, where is it?” he paused.

The coordinator of Kenya’s health professional society accused Governor Dr Paul Otuoma of failing to fulfill the promise he gave during the campaign to clear the arrears within 100 days in office.

“This salary is something that the governor stated he will clear within the first 100 days in his office that he will investigate and pay, but now it is almost a year, and there are no salary arrears. The efforts to reach the governor have not been fruitful,” he noted.

Mr Nakoche wanted the government to promote and employ more health officers, adding that the health facilities across the county lack enough human resources.

Mr Michael Onyura the chairperson Busia public service board in his office responding to the Union’s demands

Mr Nakoche called upon his members to down their tools unless the government addresses their grievances.

“Unless the government does something, we are not going back to work. We are going on strike as all healthcare workers and there will be no services beginning at midnight tonight. We have also informed doctors to discharge all patients today in all public health facilities across the county,” he said.

However, Mr Michael Aringo, the chairperson of Busia County Public Service Board, urged the medical practitioners not to strike, saying that the county is working on addressing their grievances.

“What they are saying is that there are several promotions that have been delayed and that they would like to have it effected, we are looking into this matter, but because of the transitions there have been certain delays but also there are some things that need to be addressed before we affect these promotions,” he noted

According to him, the promotions came at the end of the last regime and there were some anomalies that were detected and must be addressed before they give promotions to those who deserve it.

“There are some anomalies that were detected in those promotions. There is some evidence that there were some fraudulent activities regarding the whole exercise of promotions.

Granted that there are some who are deserving but unfortunately, it looks like some people may have taken advantage of the transition period to sneak in some names, but we are cleaning the list once we are done, those who genuinely deserve promotions will be given,” he explained

On medical supplies, Mr Aringo noted that the health department is working with the relevant Authority to avail what is required in public health facilities across the county.

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