Employ more health workers, striking clinicians tells government

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PHOTO:LTN/Health workers officials in Kisumu addressing the press as strike enters its second day.

The striking clinicians in Kisumu County are calling upon the national government to employ more health workers instead of recalling those who have retired to fill the void left as the strike enters its second day.

The strike has dealt a blow to patients and their families as all public health facilities in the county remain deserted.

Secretary Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Kisumu branch Kraus Okumu says the government has a tendency of recalling retired health workers whenever there is a strike.

Okumu says a number of trained health workers are wallowing in poverty due to lack of employment.

He says this is the right time the government should hire more personnel in the health sector to bridge the shortage of healthcare workers.

Speaking during a joint press conference with the nurses’ leadership in Kisumu, Okumu says those who have attained 50 years of age and above are at home due to COVID-19 pandemic while the government would wish to bring the same people back in hospitals.

He says most of the health workers being called back for service are suffering from chronic diseases and will be vulnerable to COVID-19.

Organizing Secretary Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Kisumu branch Ann Owiti says the strike will continue until the bare minimums they have fronted are addressed.

Owiti says the national government has been engaging the health workers since the inception of the pandemic without any concrete solution.

She says as frontline soldiers in the battle against the pandemic, the government should listen to their cries and sort out the mess.

By LTN Reporter