Medics on warpath with government over promotions

Monday, April 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Knun secretary general Seth Panyako addresses the press in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/Tabitha Mbatia

George Kebaso @Morarak

Nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technicians and technologists and other health professionals are spoiling for a fight with the government over the recent promotion of doctors that left out other health workers.

The medical personnel from 18 fields who had last week issued a seven-day strike notice that ends today have extended the threat to Monday next week.

They say the government’s actions had shown that it does not value their work.

They questioned the criteria used to promote more than 200 doctors including Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi.

Last week, nurses, clinical officers, laboratory experts and other health workers claimed the government had neglected them.

“The President should instruct the Ministry of Health to engage us immediately failure to which we will call for a national strike of all healthcare workers to express our displeasure,” the Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, Kenya Health Professionals Society and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers among others said.

Seth Panyako, the nurses union secretary general, said that if the President does not listen to them, they would paralyse health services.

“We are not going to accept to be used as tools in provision of services,” he said.

He accused the government of ignoring their plight yet they are the ones who ensure health facilities are running.

“Doctors are being promoted and paid extra allowances, yet we are in the hospitals 24 hours, seven days a week taking care of patients.

Why is Mwangangi promoting herself and the other doctors yet for us it is only promises,?” he posed. 

The workers were reacting to a list of about 200 doctors that, includes the name of Mwangangi, recommended for promotion, allegedly as recognition by the government for their work on Covid-19.

But Panyako wants the Public Service Commission to reject the list.

“The true front line healthcare workers are these people you see here, the people who spend their lives in the wards and labs,” said Panyako pointing at the representatives of the nurses, clinical officers and lab technologists.

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