County governments on Tuesday during an extra-ordinary meeting on the ongoing health sector unrest have resolved to taking disciplinary action against the striking doctors.

The Council of Governors Chairperson Anne Waiguru said they are going to take action on the striking doctors because they have absconded duty contrary to the court’s directive.

The court had ordered the doctors to end the strike  and giving the Government and Doctors’ Union 14 days to conclude the reconciliation process, before the mention of the case set for tomorrow April 17th, 2024.

“As we await the court to determine this matter tomorrow April 17, 2024.  It is noted that health workers have absconded duty contrary to the court directive and therefore county governments will institute disciplinary action against them,” Waiguru said.

She said that though the National government has been having a series of consultative meetings with the doctor’s union, the devolved government has also been having discussions with their doctors to try address their issues.

“However, this is not tenable as both the national and county governments are independent and distinct employers. As duty bearers, we cannot afford to remain silent as Kenyans continue to suffer and in other unfortunate cases, death, due to an unprotected strike and that the doctors have not complied with the court directive. The Constitution defines doctors as essential workers and therefore they are not expected to abandon their stations of duty.”

According to Waiguru around 890 health practitioners have been released by counties and are currently on postgraduate trainings adding that as devolved governments have continued to pay their salaries during the training period.

She went on to add that the situation has continued to deprive counties substantial amount of resources which could otherwise be used to recruit more doctors to handle patients while the rest are on postgraduate training.

“To this effect, county governments will undertake the costing of doctors on post-graduate studies for purposes of allocation of the resources for recruitment to fill the gaps and offer services during this training period,” the Governor said.

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