Civil society urges national govt to release sh.20 bn to mitigate nurses/doctors...

Civil society urges national govt to release sh.20 bn to mitigate nurses/doctors strike

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Nairobi, KENYA: Civil society in the country have urged the Ministry of health to release sh.20 billion stuck in the ministry’s headquarters, as doctors unions warn that consultants in private sector will down their tools if the government will not honour the 2013 collective bargaining agreement.

In a media briefing in Nairobi,led by Wanjiru Gikonyo and Suba Churchill of reference group urged medics to go back to work and give dialogue a chance t avert further deaths witnessed in various health facilities across the country.

Gikonyo accused the national government for failing to realese funding meant for health sector in the counties;urging the Ministry of health to release 20 billion shillings which they insist is stuck in Nairobi as a mitigating measure to end the strike.

“The Ministry of Health to immediately release to the counties at least sh.20 billion of the sh. 60 billion that it is holding under their health budget line. “Gikonyo said.

They want Treasury to immediately withdraw and revise the Division of Revenue 2017 to transfer remaining funds to county health services through conditional grant to health, with an agreed quantum to go to medical profession salaries and benefits.

The balance of the grant can be dedicated to health services in line with county needs.

The civil societies’ push comes after the KMPDU secretary general Auma Oluga warning that consultants in private sector will down their tools to push improvement of terms of service of medics in health sector.

The union insisted that the medics shall return to work only if the government implement CBA.

This comes as the County  Public Service Board has embarked on recruiting new medics on a temporary basis  to help in trying to find solutions for the ongoing health crisis.

Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday during the 4th annual  CPSB National Consultative Forum,Chairperson Phillip Kungu called on the county governments to cooperate with them to help solve the crisis.

“We call on the Chief Executives Officers, governors, to look at their health departments and see where they need staff so that we can even employ people on a temporary basis to help sought out this crisis.” Said Kungu.

He has also called upon the private hospitals not to heed to the call of KMPDU to down their tools and provide health care to Kenyans in need.

“KMPDU have no powers to force somebody to close down their private hospitals, we call upon them to continue providing healthcare. It is sad that so man Kenyans are dying due to the strike.” Added Kungu.