Laikipia governor signs return to work formula with the 33 sacked doctors

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu has signed a return-to-work deal with sacked doctors and vowed to streamline health care services to ensure residents have quality and affordable services.

Speaking at a press briefing in Nanyuki after signing the return-to-work formula with doctors sacked by his predecessor Ndiritu Muriithi, Irungu said his administration had negotiated with the medics to enable them attend to the health needs of residents immediately.

“We want to commit ourselves by signing (return to work formula) and that we are going to withdraw all the court cases, including the contempt of court that is in place. We have decided to end the push and pull. Laikipia is bigger than an individual,” said Irungu.

The county boss said that his administration is further working on modalities to ensure county workers’ interests are safeguarded.

“We want to work out in a way that not only the doctors but we also want to protect the interests of employees within the County Public Service Board. To all the staff of Laikipia County, we want to assure them that we are working for permanent and pensionable terms policy,” assured the governor.

The governor said after bargaining with the medics, they had waived 13 months’ salary arrears out of the 40 months which were expected to be paid and as directed by the Labour and Industrial Relations Court.

Irungu revealed that of the 33 medics who were sacked in 2019, 10 would start work on September 1, 2022 (Thursday), and the rest would resume later after clearing with their current employers.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah assured residents that with the new county regime, there was a ray of hope in the county health care systems.

“There is a clear demonstration that the governance of a particular county and the goodwill in existence, a lot of things can be resolved,” said Atela, adding that quality health care could be achieved if there are health workers.

He further urged the elected county heads to prioritize health care by equipping health facilities with health care workers and drugs to benefit the electorate.

Laikipia County Public Service chairperson Mumbi Mwago assured the medics who were hired to replace the 61 sacked by Muriithi they would not be dismissed from work since the county is working on strengthening the healthcare workforce.

After being suspended by Muriithi in 2019, what followed were a series of court cases to see the doctors reinstated. However, the attempt to get their job back failed.



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