Health workers threaten to down tools amidst COVID-19 crisis

A Kenyan health worker striking in December 2016.Health workers have accused the ministry of planning to kick out the director general throuh the health amendment bill PHOTO COURTESY

Health workers have given the government notice of 14 days to address their issues or they call for a national strike that will paralyze health in hospitals.

According to a joint statement by Kenya health professional societies (KHPS), health workers have been calling for harmonization of allowances in vain as they are highly exposed to the infectious diseases.

“Statistics indicate that health workers are highly exposed to the risk of infections and yet currently some enjoy a risk allowance ranging from sh 3,000 to sh. 20,000, hence the need for harmonization of the same allowance to sh.30,000 across all health workers,” Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako said.

They are also calling for the promotion of health workers that have stagnated in entry job groups for over eight years in both national and county governments despite the existence of a signed agreement between employers and unions which the unions argue have never been implemented.

“It is within our knowledge that the ministry of health has promoted one cadre and living others which we find demoralizing and discriminative and negatively affecting our members since most of them especially specialist are performing duties that are outside their job description as per their current job group and in reference to the scheme of service,” He added.

They are further calling both the national and the county governments to convert and confirm their health workers into permanent and pensionable terms within the meaning of the employment Act 2007section 37 as well as the formulation of front line health workers’ welfare package.

This comes amidst a worldwide fight against COVID-19.

The joint statement was issued by the KNUN, Kenya Union of Clinical officers KUCO, and the Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical technologists KNUPT.