Ojamoong roots for dialogue to stop planned health workers strike

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By/Reuben Olita
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has urged county health workers not to involve in the nationwide planned strike, noting that his government is ready for dialogue to iron out issues that are not tenable in the short run.

The healthcare workers had vowed to down their tools following an increase of deaths among their colleagues at an alarming rate from Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Addressing a press conference in his office after the Council of Governors virtual meeting on Thursday, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong said there is need for dialogue and close consultation between the healthcare workers and county governments to resolve teething issues amicably.
On demands by the healthcare workers to county governments to employ 2000 more doctors, 3000 clinical officers and 7000 nurses, HE Ojaamong said it’s not feasible at the moment because of financial constraints.

“Running the County Government has been a nightmare for most governors with most activities coming to a halt; this has been occasioned by failure by the National Treasury to release funds to counties since August, 2020,” he said.
On provision of quality Personal Protective Equipment, the Governor said they have agreed with Kenya Medical Supplies Agency to supply to counties on credit, telling county health workers to continue discharging their duties as their issues were being addressed.
The Governor said Busia has met most of the demands the medics had cited including comprehensive insurance cover through CIC Insurance, employment of some healthcare workers by the County Government and National Government through Universal Health Coverage.
“The national government had promised to pay frontline workers allowances; my government has taken precaution by capturing it in the supplementary budget just in case the promise was not forthcoming,” the Governor said.
He said they will meet with the union officials to pass the message agreed by the governors to forestall the strike set for December 6th, 2020.

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