Health crisis looms in Kisii as medics down their tools

Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital

Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital. Health services in Kisii have been plunged into a crisis after medics started withdrawing from their work station protesting at delayed salaries

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Health services in Kisii have been plunged into a crisis after medics started withdrawing from their work station protesting at delayed salaries.

Patients are now being transferred to private hospitals after staying for long hours in the public facilities without being attended to. The medics announced the strike on Friday, saying they cannot continue operating without money. 

At the same time, other county staff have gone unpaid for the third month. Over 6,000 county workers have been affected.

A circular released by County Finance Executive Moses Onderi indicated that there would be further delay.

“The National Treasury has not disbursed funds for the month of June 2022 to counties. Consequently, payment of salaries for the month of June has been delayed,” Mr Onderi said.

At a press conference on Friday, union officials representing doctors, nurses, clinicians and lab technicians said the county government leadership was insensitive to their welfare.

Nyanza Region Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union chair, Dr Onyango Ndong’a, said they have no option but to go on strike.

‘Hand to mouth’

“We are living from hand to mouth, yet we’re professionals and employed,” noted Dr Ndong’a. He said members have been getting calls from banks and other service providers as the county has not been remitting statutory and other deductions. 

The county government promised to pay the salaries as soon as the monies are released.

County Secretary Patrick Lumumba regretted that the nurses were threatening to down their tools.

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