We cannot spend money we do not have’ – Ruto tells striking medics

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 7 Apr, 2024 12:04 | 2 mins read
President William Ruto during a past function.
President William Ruto during a past function. PHOTO/PCS

President William Ruto now says the government will not be able to meet the financial demands by striking demands.

Speaking during a Sunday service at Eldoret AIC Fellowship church, Ruto said that the country is already overspending on salaries.

According to Ruto, the government is currently spending 47 per cent of its revenues on salaries against the recommended 35 per cent.

“It is important for us to agree that we must live within our means. We cannot continue to spend the money we do not have,” Ruto said.

“Our wage bill is 47 per cent of our revenue. It should be 35 per cent according to the law. So we are way above. We need a conversation so that those of us who earn salaries are responsible. And we can reduce our wage bill so that we can free more resources to create jobs for our young people.”

This is the first time the Head of State is addressing the strike spearheaded by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists Union (KMPDU), on its 25th day.

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) on Friday reaffirmed that their strike which began on Monday is still on despite what they termed as intimidation and threats.

“We have since resumed negotiations with the Ministry of Health and we parties have agreed on the negotiations’ roadmap geared towards a lasting resolution of this matter,” KUCO SG George Gibore said.

Ruto on stipends

Ruto urged medics to be contented with the Ksh70,000 stipend being offered to interns since it is not permanent.

“We mind them (doctors), we value the service they give to the nation, but we must live within our means. The resources we have are only sufficient to pay Ksh70,000 for intern doctors. It is not a salary, it is only a stipend for one year then they will be employed,” he said. 

Doctors are calling for adequate funding of the health sector with a budgetary commitment to fund all signed CBAs beginning with increasing allocation to the counties to the tune of Ksh425 billion.

They are also unhappy with the failure by the Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital to sign a CBA, harmonization of salary for doctors on short-term contractual terms, described as discriminatory; and conversion to permanent and pensionable terms, promotions of the consultants and provision for study leaves.

KMPDU on Friday announced a scheduled demo slated for Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

"KMPDU extends a nationwide invitation to all Doctors, Medical Interns, and Medical Students to join us in peaceful demonstrations on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Let's unite our voices to advocate for the rights of doctors and strive for improved healthcare standards for Kenyans," KMPDU said.

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