Following a resolution by governors countrywide to recruit new health workers, hundreds of Murang’a County residents turned up for interviews at the county headquarters to replace striking doctors and nurses. This comes barely a day after governor Mwangi wa Iria gave striking workers a directive to resume work or face the sack.
The governor termed the medics’ strike illegal, saying health services should not be underrated since the consequences can be grave and fatal. “Murang’a county government has a primary responsibility to ensure residents wellbeing in health matters,” said Mwangi. The county government set up three panels to conduct interviews, seeking to hire 100 medics at major health facilities in the county among them Murang’a District, Muriranjas sub-district, Kangema sub-district and Kigumo sub district hospitals.
The new health workers will, however, serve on temporary basis until the tussle between the government and striking medics is resolved. A spot check revealed that most of the hospitals in the county had been closed down, forcing patients to seek medical services at private hospitals. County public service board secretary Richard Kamami said the new workers will help reduce suffering among patients. “We are working on delicate situation because we want to get the doctors and nurses back to work,” he said.
Kamami, however, said some hospitals are handling emergency cases, adding that the new medics will beef up the acting emergency team. Health practitioners nationwide downed their tools a week ago protesting the transfer of health functions to counties without a law to govern the same. They have defied a court order obtained by government instructing them to resume duty, with most counties resolving to hire new staff on temporary basis