Clinical officers call off strike following court order

Written By: Collins Anampiu/KNA

Striking health workers protesting outside the office of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. The health workers who include nurses, clinical and laboratory officers have ended the three-month boycott after the county government agreed to address their demands.

Clinical officers have suspended their two-month strike following a court order.

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The Kenya Union of Clinical Officer (KUCO) Chairman Peter Wachira has directed all members to report back to work.

The clinicians who have been on strike for 70 days said that the issues that had forced them to down their tools are still unresolved.

Wachira said they had left work because the working environment was not safe. He lamented that the decision to force them back to work leaves them vulnerable since no improvements have been made.

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The Labour Court through Justice Maureen Onyango issued an order on Monday requiring them to resume work immediately.

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Wachira added that there has been a big crisis in the health sector because of lack of a Health Service Commission.

On Monday, nurses and other health workers in Mombasa County on Monday resumed work ending a three-month strike.

The resumption of duty by the health workers was a big relief for the residents of the coastal city as the boycott paralysed operations at the main Coast General Hospital and other public health centres in the County.

The more than 1000 members of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratories Officers (KNUMLO) downed their tools on November 15 last year after the County government failed to address their grievances.

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KNUN Mombasa Chapter Secretary Peter Maroko confirmed that they have ended their strike after the county government on Thursday agreed to address their demands, which include comprehensive medical cover, promotion and remittance of statutory deductions.

Maroko said the government has also pledged to release December and January salaries and added that there will be no victimisation following the boycott.

The County Secretary Joab Tumbo said they have agreed with the unions to end the strike after addressing all the contentious issues.

“We expect normal health services to resume in all our facilities, said Tumbo who regretted that the boycott caused untold suffering to the residents.

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Health services were grounded in the county towards the end of last year after doctors, nurses and medical officers went on strike demanding for comprehensive medical cover, promotion and remittance of statutory deductions.

Doctors called off their three-week strike on January 15 after the county government addressed most of their demands including the reinstatement of 86 of their sacked colleagues for boycotting work.

The striking 700 nurses, 165 clinical and 171 laboratory officers were also complaining about the frequent delays of salaries.

The boycott denied the residents and those from neighbouring counties health services including treatment for serious diseases such as coronavirus and cancer especially at the Mombasa Teaching and Referral Hospital.

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