Striking Pumwani Hospital health workers to be paid by Thursday
Striking Pumwani Maternity Hospital casuals can now breathe a sigh of relief after City Hall said they will get their outstanding salaries latest Thursday.
Nairobi County Economic Planning Chief Officer Washington Makodingo said the county government on Monday requisitioned for Sh8 million from the Controller of Budget to offset the unpaid salaries dating back to November last year.
“We only received request for the payment of the salaries late on Friday last week. However, we have made a request to the Controller of Budget to release at least Sh8 million and as soon as it is approved, we will pay them,” said Mr Makodingo.
On Tuesday, the affected casuals and locum nurses – nurses engaged on a contractual basis, went on a go slow demanding for their unpaid salaries dating back to November last year.
In a letter dated February 20, 2020 Pumwani’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer had written back to the county reminding them of the unpaid salaries since November 2019.
“It is now almost a month past the stipulated time, nothing is forthcoming and there is no any sign of goodwill from the cornered offices. We hereby put on notice that we shall stop offering our services from tomorrow Friday 21, 2020 at 4pm pending payment of the full arrears,” read in part the letter.
The letter was addressed to Pumwani Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Farhia Abdirahman Affi and the Hospital’s Secretary.
The nurses decried that their grievances have not been addressed by the facility despite holding a series of meetings with the hospital’s administration. They cited a memo that had been done by the hospital promising they would be paid in two weeks.
In a letter dated January 31, 2020, the County Chief Officer for Health Mohamed Sahal had asked the Medical Superintendent at Pumwani to extend the contract of 285 staff until February 31, 2020.
Mr Sahal indictaed that the affected health workers are only 67 but promised that they will be paid this week as he is working closely with the Finance department to clear the arrears.
On his part, Dr Makodingo explained that the arrears have accumulated due to National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) failing to reimburse the hospital the free delivery fund which the facility depends on to pay salaries for the casuals and locums.
“Pumwani does not charge for patients unlike our other hospitals and depends fully on free maternity reimbursement from NHIF which is Sh5, 000 for every delivery.
However, NHIF has been having some issues for some months now forcing us now to chip in,” he said.