In Summary
  • Dr Owili said many health services in Kisumu had been affected by the industrial action.
  • Nurses are now calling upon individual counties to sign the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The Kisumu County Government is set to hire 210 nurses on a three-month contract in the next six days.

Deputy Governor Mathew Owili said the new staff will be stationed at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Kisumu County Hospital, which have been hit hardest by the ongoing nurses’ strike.

“We cannot continue seeing our people suffer. We have done all we can to get the nurses back to work but it seems they are not willing. We have no option but to hire new nurses, who will be on contract,” Dr Owili said.

VACANCIES
Four other counties have advertised for positions of nurses to replace the ones on strike.

The counties are Lamu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Lamu.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said county officials are compiling data to establish the number of nurses who are working.

In Murang’a, county director for health Wilfred Kanyi said the regional government will soon advertise vacancies for over 400 nurses.

He said this comes after the staff on strike defied an order by the Council of Governors (CoG) that they should resume duty.

IMMUNISATION
Other counties have also indicated that they will advertise nurses posts but are yet to give information on the fate of the striking caregivers.

While some governors are planning to advertise nurses positions, others, including Tharaka-Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki, have opposed the sacking directive.

Dr Owili said many health services in Kisumu had been affected by the industrial action

He said one of them is the immunisation of pregnant women and children, which is likely to increase the disease index in the country.

“We are not against giving the nurses what they want but they should be flexible to go back to work as negotiations continue,” he said.

NEGOTIATION
Nurses are now calling upon individual counties to sign the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), adding that the national government was not willing to engage them but, instead, threatening to sack them.

Nurses’ officials in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Siaya, Mombasa, Vihiga and Busia want the respective governors of these devolved units to strike an urgent deal with the striking workers to end the suffering of patients in public hospitals.

They said the governors are better placed to understand them compared to Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and the top national leadership.

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