Unions accuse Ruto of going against KK manifesto

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Unions accuse Ruto of going against KK manifesto

Healthcare workers’ unions are expressing dissatisfaction with President William Ruto’s stance that the government will not borrow money to pay them.

The unions, including the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco), now assert that the government may be engaging in a covert confrontation against healthcare workers.

KMPDU Secretary General Davji Bhimji Atella claimed on Monday that it is evident the government has refused to address persistent issues afflicting the health sector.

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The union believes that the government is represented by untrustworthy officials who have failed to fulfill a Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2017 despite several court directives to do so.

Dr. Atella stated that they are dealing with a repressive government and employer who shows no concern for the welfare of its workers and the health of its citizens.

Amid a call for a peaceful march to be held today, the doctors pledged to persist in pursuing their collective mission to resist the degradation and devaluation of their profession.

During a demonstration, Kuco Secretary General George Gibore remarked that the president is not well-informed about the healthcare workers’ strike.

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Gibore noted that the statement made by the president on Sunday does not align with what he outlined in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, which included health Bills such as the Social Health Authority (SHA) aimed at financing Universal Health Coverage, the digital health Bill, and the primary healthcare Bill to improve the health sector.

The secretary-general emphasized that the human resource component is crucial for the functioning and optimal utilization of these Bills, which the president appears indifferent to.

The president asserted on Sunday that the government is unwilling to borrow money to pay salaries and urged doctors to live within their means, mentioning the allocation of Sh70,000 for 1,500 interns.

However, Gibore reminded the president of his manifesto promise to employ 20,000 healthcare workers in the first two years of the Kenya Kwanza administration’s term, which remains unfulfilled.

He suggested stabilizing the existing situation and reinforcing it by employing more personnel. According to the recent report by the Auditor General, most levels 4 and 5 facilities in the country lack the required number of staff, with many operating at less than half capacity.

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Kuco advocates for harmonization by transitioning contract workers to permanent and pensionable terms.

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Unions accuse Ruto of going against KK manifesto

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