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NMS begins promotion of health care workers as strike threat looms

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has begun promotion of health care workers seconded to the new office following a return-to-work formula signed by the two parties in August.
This comes at a time when the medics have also threatened to down their tools should they lose more of their members to Covid-19.
Already, 108 health professionals among them doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians and community health workers have received their promotion letters from the Major General Mohammed Badi-led administration.
NMS Deputy Director General Kangethe Thuku has called on the health care workers to continue offering services effectively as NMS continues to address issues affecting the medics to ensure improvement of service delivery to Nairobi residents.
During a six-day strike in August, the medics raised concerns over delayed salaries, lack of promotions and re-designations, lack of medical cover as well as a lack of protective equipment when handling patients who may have Covid-19.
While inking the deal, NMS promised to pay the health care workers their salaries on or before the fifth day of every month, provide them with a medical cover as well as promote those who qualified for promotion.
As part of commitment by NMS, the DDG said the health care workers will get their salaries before 30th of every month and the administration will cover any injuries to the workers when they sustain the injuries in the course of service provision to residents.
“We are calling on the medics to continue offering services as Nairobi residents are happy with their services. Moreover, workers who are involved in essential services cannot afford to down their tools at such a time,” said Mr Thuku.
On her part, NMS Director of Health Services Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said all doctors have been promoted and paid promotion arrears.
On the issue of medical cover for the medics, Dr Kibaru-Mbae explained that NMS was in the process of inking a medical cover deal with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), however, they were informed that City Hall had already secured an insurance cover for all county workers including even those seconded to NMS, putting an end to the deal.
This, she said, has made the demand by some doctors to be removed from the county government insurance deal with AAR a hard task as it is not within the purview of NMS as they are not party to the deal.
“We were to sign the contract but we were informed that the Nairobi county government had already paid an insurance cover for all county workers even those seconded to NMS. We sought for advisory from the head of public service so the doctors like other county workers should continue with AAR,” said Dr Kibaru-Mbae.

She pointed out that under Covid-19 Fund given to NMS, a total of 256 health workers including 24 doctors and 150 nurses have been recruited for a period of three months to help fill the shortage of health workers in hospitals like Mama Lucy and Pumwani.