In a display of dissatisfaction with the Kisii County administration, healthcare staff in Kisii took to the streets on Monday to voice their grievances. Led by officials from the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), doctors and clinicians marched through Kisii town streets, demanding action on various issues affecting their profession.

Among the grievances highlighted by the protesting healthcare workers was the failure of the County to provide promotions for doctors and clinicians. Additionally, they expressed frustration over the denial of study leaves and other benefits promised to them. These unresolved issues have led to mounting frustration among the healthcare staff, prompting them to stage protests to demand accountability and fairness from the County administration.

Despite the assertions made by County health officials that the protest was insignificant and primarily comprised medical students, the protesting healthcare workers remained resolute in their demands. Ronald Nyakweba, the health executive, dismissed the protests as mere noise, claiming that an agreement had already been reached between Governor Simba Arati and the health staff on Friday. However, the protesting healthcare workers remained undeterred, emphasizing their commitment to achieving tangible results through their collective action.

While nurses reportedly reported to work as usual following a meeting with Governor Arati on Friday, doctors and clinicians persisted in their protest, highlighting the urgency of addressing their grievances. Leaders of the KMPDU union reiterated the need for the County administration to fulfill its obligations under the 2019 collective bargaining agreement, warning of an impending industrial strike if their demands remained unmet.

Nyanza Union Chair Onyango Ndona, who led the protests, emphasized the impact of the County’s inaction on patient care, stating that the suffering experienced by patients was a direct consequence of the administration’s failure to address the concerns of healthcare workers. Despite acknowledging the hardships faced by patients, Ndona asserted that the blame lay squarely with the County administration’s disregard for the welfare of healthcare staff.

Victor Bwanchete, Clinical Union regional chair, echoed Ndona’s sentiments, underscoring the importance of addressing the demands put forth by healthcare workers. He decried the intimidation and victimization of union officials and expressed concern over the non-payment of salaries to clinical officers for over two years. Bwanchete emphasized that the healthcare workers would only return to work once the County administration demonstrated a genuine commitment to fulfilling their demands outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

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