Striking nurses and clinical officers risk losing their jobs if they do not resume work by tomorrow morning, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has warned.
Governor Oparanya ordered the striking health workers to go back to work or face the sack, saying he had already addressed the demands made by their two unions.
On Wednesday, the Kakamega County administration latched onto an injunction against the strike issued by the Employment and Labour Relations Court judge, Justice Nzioki Wa Makau, on December 28, ordering the workers back to their work stations.
Justice Makau ordered Kenya Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) to suspend their strike and ask its members to continue offering their services in various health facilities in Kakamega County pending hearing of a suit filed by the county government.
“On the strength of the court verdict, I hereby order all striking medical workers to go back to work. Any worker who will not report to his or her station by tomorrow (Thursday) 8.00 am shall be summarily dismissed and replaced,” said Oparanya.
The governor claimed his administration had addressed five thematic areas including the provision of personal protective equipment to health staff, recruitment of staff on permanent and pensionable terms, promotion of health workers, training of medics and contracted the National Health Insurance (NHIF) to provide medical cover.
He admitted that Kakamega County was not spared the ravages and suffering caused by the ongoing nationwide strike by medics but absolved county administrations from blame, arguing some of the demands by the strikers touch on health policy and can only be resolved by the national government.
“As I have said before, some of the demands made by the striking workers are supposed to be met by the National Government and not county governments,” Oparanya said.