Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has dismissed the call from health workers for allowances.
Speaking on Wednesday November 18 when he appeared on Citizen TV’s JKLIVE show hosted by Jeff Koinange, CS Kagwe said that this is not the right time for health workers to say that they want more money.
CS Kagwe said that doctors and all health workers should currently concentrate on their worker, owing to the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
He noted that the health workers should at the moment focus on saving lives.
“This is not the time, in my view, to start saying that ‘I want more money..for now let’s focus on saving lives,” he said.
The doctors through their unions have been complaining of neglect from government.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had argued that their members have been receiving low quality personal protective equipment from the government, and that their allowances have not been paid.
The union had early this week issued a three week strike notice, if the government will not take any action.
On Wednesday, Members of Parliament sitting in the Parliamentary Health committee were brought to tears when doctors explained to them their plight.
However, CS Kagwe dismissed the issue of allowances, saying that the doctors should understand that the pandemic has hit every organization, and some workers are even taking half their salary.
On the issue of PPEs, CS Kagwe said that they are not currently an issue, since the country has enough of them.
Kagwe indicated that even some of the local PPE manufacturers are exporting them.
He added that counties are free to get protective equipment for their hospitals from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), since the government already allocated them funds.
On the issue of providing a better health cover for health care workers, CS Kagwe noted that it has been already sorted, citing that all civil servants are currently enjoying a better medical cover, effective from October this year.
While addressing the issue of doctors contracting Covid-19, CS Kagwe said that the health care workers are also socialising with others just like any other human being, bringing a possibility of them contracting the disease from elsewhere, not necessarily their work place.
He said that the government is committed to protecting health care workers against getting infected while on their line of duty.