Health workers in public health facilities in Homa Bay County are set to resume work after a month-long strike following a successful return to work negotiations with the county government.
All health workers who included doctors, pharmacists, nurses, clinical officers and laboratory technicians downed their tools on August 3 to demand their salary arrears and allowances for June and July.
The strike paralysed services in all public health facilities in the county thereby causing a setback in the fight against coronavirus after all COVID-19 treatment centres were closed due to lack of health personnel to man them.
The health workers and the county government arrived at a consensus to end the strike after negotiations led by Homa Bay County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Finance CECM Nicholas Koriko and his health counterpart Richard Muga.
In a joint statement from several health workers’ unions issued by the Chairman of Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in Nyanza region Kevin Osuri, the health workers said they had been paid the salaries and allowances they were demanding.
“We have been paid all the money we were demanding from the county government. We have agreed that salaries for the subsequent months will be paid by the eighth day of the succeeding month,” Osuri said.
Osuri said all the health workers’ unions had agreed that their members would return to work with immediate effect.
Ogwe said they had made arrangements to ensure workers were paid salaries promptly in the county.
“We apologise for the salary delay which made the health workers down their tools. It was caused by the stalemate division of revenue bill in the Senate,” Ogwe said.
He noted that the county had not received any funds for the current financial year.
The medics’ strike put the lives of thousands in jeopardy due to inability to afford healthcare in private health facilities.