Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacist and Dentist Union Busia branch have maintained that they will proceed to down their tools on Tuesday 17th October if the Busia County government does not implement their return to work agreement arrived at in July.
According to them, the county government of Busia has been making endless promises without implementing them.
“On the 17th of July this year we entered a return to work agreement with the county government of Busia to do a number of things but the county government has failed to honor a single item they promised, and as a union, we have committed ourselves that by 17th of this month, we are proceeding with our industrial action,” said Dr Sanday Charo, KMPDU secretary general Busia branch.
The medics expressed their disappointment in Governor Otuoma’s leadership adding that the government is not genuine in their promises, terming it as the county government “has resorted to slumber and ignored the welfare of their members.”
The meeting between the medics with the county government on Friday last week failed to bear fruit after the officials of the union requested more time to consult their members before meeting on Monday for a conclusive answer.
“There is a lack of goodwill from the county government, there is no other way to do this. Unless we see the effect on our pay slip we are not going to listen to any other stories from the government,” said Dr Charo.
The union further noted that health facilities in the county are in deplorable condition which is leading to loss of lives in Busia county.
Mr Joseph Ngwasi the chairperson of Kenya National Union of Nurses blamed the county governments across the country for failure to manage the health sector instead they turned members of the public against the medics accusing them of laxity.
“The health workers are committed to their work but the county governments across the country have failed to manage the sector. You find the other county has paid the medics and others not and this affects the delivery of services from medics in their respective counties but this could have been addressed if we had a law to address the problem as a country,” said Mr Ngwasi.
Dr Joseph Makomere the treasurer of the Kenya Medical practitioners’ pharmacists and dentist Union Western branch noted that the majority of the county governments in Kenya are frustrating the health sector by failing to prioritize the needs of the sector, especially investing in human resources.
“We are tired of the empty rhetoric that we are being given by the county governments. The governors are peddling lies to the members of the public, but the truth is that we are tired of the level of health care being offered in the counties that are poor, as health practitioners, we are frustrated with how the county governments are handling us,” said Dr Makomere.
However, Busia governor Dr Paul Otuoma reaffirmed to the practitioners that all the issues in July this year are being dealt with including promotions and salary increments adding that some of the issues will take time to be implemented.
“When we came to the office we found challenges in the health sector including promotion issues and lack of drugs in our health facilities among other challenges but as a county, we are committed to handling all the issues raised by the medical practitioners,” said Busia governor.
Dr Otuoma further noted that as a county they are working on modalities of having facility improvement funds remain at the hospital to address challenges facing the health sector in the county.