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KNH sacks 12 medics as crackdown on striking doctors starts

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has fired 12 medical officers for desertion of duty through their participation in the ongoing strike.

KNH Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros has also put 48 others, alongside postgraduate students and interns on notice to immediately resume work or face a similar fate.

Failure to report to their duty station, Ms Koros added, the health workers risk dismissal, eviction from hospital quarters and other “administrative action deemed necessary”.

Disciplinary procedures are currently being instituted against the 48 doctors.

Ms Koros told journalists: “Following their strike notice on November 14, 2016, KNH on December 3, 2016 wrote a memo advising its doctors against taking part in the industrial action by Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) because there was no existing dispute between KNH doctors and the management.”

She said the hospital has 264 doctors and only 204 doctors had been offering minimal services throughout the strike but now full services had resumed and all doctors employed by the facility should report to duty.

“KNH doctors were advised against the strike as it was illegal. The hospital commenced disciplinary action against those who defied the directive,” she added.

This comes hours after the government on Tuesday withdrew a Sh600million in backdated medical risk allowances it had given to doctors.

Already, different county governments are in “various stages” of disciplinary measures against the doctors for the 95-day old strike, which had been declared unprotected by the courts.