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Frustrated Kidero now threatens to sack striking doctors

The Nairobi City County has given striking doctors 72 hours to explain why they should not be fired over their persistent strike.

County Secretary Robert Ayisi on Thursday said the county had met all demands outlined in the return-to-work agreement signed on September 30 but the 105 medics are still dissatisfied.

“As a county, we have fulfilled our side of the bargain and working on what is remaining,” said Dr Ayisi.

On Monday, City Hall failed to axe the doctors after giving them a day-long ultimatum.

Dr Ayisi said sacking the health workers is a process and that is why they have been issued with show-cause letters.

POSITIONS TO FILLED

If the doctors do not respond to the letters, he said, their positions would be advertised and filled.

The County Secretary said City Hall had confirmed the appointment of 37 medical officers, including all doctors who were not on the county payroll, and payment of their arrears in full to the tune of Sh34 million.

Some 56 doctors, he said, had also been promoted and the county service board was processing the promotion of doctors in job groups P and Q.

The doctors, who have been on strike since September, have dismissed threats to fire them and continued to down their tools.

In September, they paralysed operations in all county hospitals in Nairobi for 19 days and called off the strike. But the reprieve lasted only for a week before they resumed their boycott on October 14.

Dr Ayisi said they had ordered the superintendents of all hospitals in the county to take a roll call with a view of punishing workers absconding duty.

HOSPITALS NOT PARALYSED

He said service delivery has not been paralysed at the hospitals “as nurses and consultants are taking care of the patients”.

The county is also hiring part-time doctors and engaging trainees, who will be paid at government rates, to eventaully replace the striking medics.

Chairman the County Assembly’s Health Committee Manoah Mboku has supported the move to sack the doctors, saying they are difficult to negotiate with.

Mr Manoah said service delivery has been overstretched at Kenyatta National Hospital because of the crisis at county health facilities.

“Just visit Kenyatta Hospital. Patients are lying on the floor untreated following the stalemate of doctors in the county,” said Mr Mboku.