Assembly helping to end the health stalemate

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By JOSEPH OJWANG, Kisumu County.

Kisumu County Assembly on Thursday stepped in to bring to an end the stalemate that has plagued the health care sector in the county.

The Assembly convened the Committee of the whole House where they met county health officials alongside health union officials.

The session chaired by Speaker Elisha Oraro listened to the two sides as they shift blames to one another over the latest strike that has seen healthcare paralyzed in the recent past.

The health staff just returned to work on Wednesday after signing another return to work formula with the county government over some unpaid deductions and promotions.

Okumu Odhiambo, the branch secretary of Kenya Union of Clinical officers who represented all the unions told the House how they have been frustrated in their work due to delayed salaries.

Odhiambo says health workers are ready to serve but are only bogged down with failure of the county government to keep to their promise.

The county chief officer finance Angwenyi Orangi however disputed the allegations put across by the union stating that all the salaries and bank deductions were paid as agreed upon.

He says some banks might have taken long time to have the monies reflected in the accounts further arguing that the stalemate in the passage of the county budget also occasioned the delay.

The MCAs lamented on the sufferings that was meted on the patients due to the prolonged strikes and called for a consensus building next time over labour disputes.

Kabonyo Kanyagwal MCA Oiko Pete asked the executive to take health sector seriously and never again subject the people to miseries and sufferings.

Pete says the current situation in hospitals in the rural areas is deplorable with some lacking key medical essentials thus calling for an increase in heath allocation in the next budget.

The union announced that they only suspended the strike up to the end of the year to allow the county government to address issues that are pending.

Speaker Oraro tasked a number of County Assembly Committees that included PIC and PAC and labour to make follow ups with the executive to ensure all the issues agreed upon are addressed in time to avert any future industrial actions.

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