Editorials

Nurses sack threat needless

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Council of Governors chairperson and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya addresses the media. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Council of Governors' proposal to bar nurses sacked for being on strike from seeking employment in the 47 counties is in bad taste.
  • Governors reckon they will not offer employment to nurses sacked from other countries due to the pay spat.
  • We urge the county chiefs not to take this path while encouraging the nurses’ union to be open to fresh talks to break the stalemate.

The Council of Governors' proposal to bar nurses sacked for being on strike from seeking employment in the 47 counties is in bad taste.

Governors reckon they will not offer employment to nurses sacked from other countries due to the pay spat.

We urge the county chiefs not to take this path while encouraging the nurses’ union to be open to fresh talks to break the stalemate. Recently, private hospitals have been flooded with patients during the doctors and nurses strike, but many Kenyans were unable to afford the fees and could not get treatment.

The paralysis is also an obstacle to Kenya’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

In the past two months, the virus has been spreading to rural areas where county-run health facilities are creaking.

These are reasons enough for counties and nurses to seek a ceasefire. Kenya cannot afford to confront its public health challenges without doctors and nurses.

Nurses are agitating for increased risk allowance, enhanced comprehensive group life insurance and promotions, demands governors maintain counties cannot afford.

We call on the nurses to tone down on their demands, and meet the counties halfway in an economic setting where State revenues have been ravaged by effects of coronavirus.

The governors also have a duty to de-escalate the spat with health workers.