Kenya: Sakaja Pledges to Absorb 1,600 Health Care Workers Contracted By NMS If Elected Governor

Nairobi — Nairobi Gubernatorial aspirant Johnson Sakaja has pledged to absorb the 1,600 medical staff that were hired on contract by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), if elected in August.

Sakaja made the commitment when he met with the leadership of health care workers including Nurses, Clinical Officers, Lab and pharmaceutical technologists working in Nairobi County, at his campaign headquarters who presented a detailed memorandum of the challenges and opportunities in the sector.

"Our administration will focus on ensuring that we have quality universal healthcare for all the citizens of Nairobi," Sakaja said.

Several leaders who made presentations highlighted the main challenges facing the sector including understaffing, unequipped health care facilities, lack of promotions, and delayed salaries among others.

The health care workers said failure to address the issue has led to the perennial strikes, as a result denying Nairobi residents the much-needed medical services.

"Our sector has had the most strikes because our issues have not been addressed. Many staff employed in the year 2010 have been on probation for 12 years. Are they supposed to spend their whole working life on probation where they can't even get a loan with a payslip that shows they are not permanent employees?" Kenya Union of Nurses Nairobi Branch Secretary Boaz Onchari said.

The Clinical Workers Union Nairobi branch Secretary Tom Nyagaka called for the formation of a work council where the county government and union officials sit regularly to iron out labour relation issues, to forestall strikes.

Chairman of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Peterson Wachira recommended that a plan be put in place that will see annual employment of health workers.

If elected, Sakaja also committed that his administration will ringfence health funds so that facilities never run out of commodities and finance for essential services.

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