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Nairobi starts recruitment of 602 health workers

The Nairobi County Government has started recruiting health workers to replace those who have refused deployment in city hospitals.

The county government is recruiting the medics for Mama Lucy Hospital, Pumwani Maternity and Mbagathi Hospitals whose operations have ground to a halt for nearly two weeks now.

Pumwani Maternity Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Kumba Omondi, who is overseeing the process, on Wednesday confirmed receiving applications for the jobs advertised on Tuesday.

This follows a directive by Governor Evans Kidero on Monday that the county public service board advertises positions of 60 doctors, 47 clinical officers, 436 nurses, 12 radiographers, 20 lab technologists, 15 anesthetists and 12 pharmacists.

Dr Omondi said that by Wednesday morning, they had received enough applicants’ letters.

He however said they have not closed window for applications.

The short-listing is expected to kick off immediately with interviews to follow soon after.

The recruits expected to start working by year-end.

The fate of those to be replaced remains unclear, with Governor Kidero failing to indicate if the new appointments are permanent.

“They walked away (those on strike).  Some of the issues they are raising are very legislative in nature. For that to be reversed, it’s going to take some time and we cannot sit and wait as Nairobi suffers,” Mr Kidero had said.

The medics have however told off Dr Kidero saying that they will not be intimidated.

Most of the patients who cannot afford private hospitals have resorted to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

Medics are accusing the government of ignoring clear cut devolution plans that had been drawn by stakeholders. Their main gripe touches on their salaries which they are adamant must not be devolved.

The health workers country wide took to streets twelve days ago to protest transfer of their human resources from central to county governments. Meetings with governors have yielded no fruit leading up to the current recruitment.

Maternity and accident departments at Kenyatta have been particularly overwhelmed with eight unborn babies already reported dead at the hospital as a result of late referrals.

Head of department Dr John Ong’ech said that they feared the problem could be worse with most of the sick unable to make it to the hospital.