Embu MCAs call for sacking of striking doctors

Thursday, January 11th, 2024 18:47 | By
Embu MCAs call for sacking of striking doctors
Health committee chairman and Mwea MCA Job Itumo addressing the press on Thursday, January 11, 2024. PHOTO/Brian Malila

The County Assembly of Embu has called on Governor Cecily Mbarire to dismiss all 97 doctors who are currently on strike.

While addressing the press on Thursday, January 11, the county legislators observed that the governor should not let any patient suffer or allow any vacuum in the health sector.

The MCAs threw their weight behind Governor Mbarire’s move to replace striking medics temporarily to ensure patients in all the public hospitals do not suffer.

Doctors under the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentist Union (KMPDU) declared the start of their strike on Tuesday. They accused the county government of failing to honour their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The governor has contracted physicians and other doctors to avert any crisis.

While addressing the press yesterday, the county boss said her office was open for discussions with the striking medics and urged them to come with an open mind to discuss the issues which they need to be addressed.

"I want to urge the doctors to come we talk. they should not have a set mind as they come, "Mbarire said.

Ward representatives led by the leader of the majority Peter Muriithi called on the striking health workers to shelve threats of crippling operations of county hospitals and pave the way for amicable resolution of their grievances.

Muriithi said the round table talks would come up with a common solution to ensure the smooth running of the health sector in the county.

"We will not entertain any action by the doctors that will hold this county at ransom. If they fail to come on a round table dialogue, we shall go the Kirinyaga way," Muriithi stated.

Similarly, County Assembly Health Committee Chairman Job Itumo who is also the MCA for Mwea Ward urged the striking doctors to resume their duties as the leadership of their trade unions engages the county government to unlock the stalemate that has brought operations in the county health
sector to a near halt.

The members of the county assembly further observed that many trained doctors were jobless, saying if the striking doctors failed to cooperate in the negotiations then there would be no other alternative other than replacing them.

Finance committee chairperson Susan Wairimu stated that though the county government was
willing to promote doctors, recruit more to boost staff numbers, clear arrears on statutory
deductions and improve overall working conditions, the county was performing poorly economically
and therefore needed more time.

Governor Mbarire reiterated her commitment to engage the medics’ trade unionists in consultative
dialogue on the best solution to their grievances but asserted that she would not hesitate to take
decisive administrative action if the medical personnel remained adamant and insisted on downing
their tools.

The County Government is at the moment relying on 10 contract doctors who are not unionisable
and therefore not eligible to participate in the strike. She also engaged nine private and retired registered
clinical officers from Embu and neighbouring counties on a locum basis; five at the Level Five Hospital
and two each for Runyenjes, Ishiara, Siakago and Kiritiri Level Four Hospitals.

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