Nurses National Strike: Governors Asks National Govt To Take Over Kenyan Health Sector

While the Kenya prepares ahead of the October election, counties in the counties are wary of the burdens posed to them by the Kenyan health sector.

Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has asked the Kenyan government to take back ownership of the health sector, saying it’s becoming a huge burden to the county’s government.

Speaking in Chuka Igambang’ombe on Friday, the governor cited the nurses’ strike as part of the key issues affecting their ability to properly manage the Kenyan health sector.

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“We cannot control people who answer to a national union and it is the individual counties paying them,” he said at Mugumoni ward during a burial of the father of deputy auditor-general Alex Rugera.

“Let counties support the national government by providing infrastructure and medicine,” he added as he urges Kenyans to vote in a referendum to return the health function to the national government.

Nurses have gone for a long strike in their bid to force the government to heed their demand by signing their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Like the nurses’ industrial action, the clinical officers are also on strike following county’s inability to pay their outstanding salaries.

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco) issued the strike notice to the county governments over failure to pay their salaries from July.

Some governors have reacted to the on-going strike in the Kenyan health sector and how it affects the health status of the poor masses as many health patients are feared dead in the process.

Hence, some governors made good their threats to sack the striking medical workers while others agreed to reach a consensus with them.

Governor Njuki acknowledged the importance of the nurses in the health sector but noted that most residents were blaming the counties for the strike yet the devolved units have no control over it.

“It is apparent that counties have little capacity to run the Kenyan health sector but they can support the national government through the provision of infrastructure and medicine as it happens with education,” the governor observed.

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The governors also agreed not to give in to the nurses’ demand, saying the CBA could not be honoured due to budgetary constraints.