INDUSTRIAL COURT EXTENDS ORDERS ISSUED AGAINST HEALTH WORKERS LAST WEEK.

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By SAM ALFAN

Industrial court Judge James Rika has extended orders stopping healthy workers on their ongoing illegal strike to 24 December when the case will be heard.

This comes as the health workers strike enter day 7.The strike has paralyzed the healthy services in the public hospitals countrywide. The health workers are opposing the devolution of health services.

The Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto is leading governors on the indoor meeting to discuss the impasse between county government and health workers. Governors has been threatening to fire the health workers if they don’t return to work, a threat that has been dismissed by health workers.

 Health cabinet secretary James Macharia moved to court on Wednesday last week and filed a petition against the ongoing health workers strike seeking the court to declare the strike illegal and order health workers back to their jobs.

High Court on Wednesday issued temporarily order stopping the ongoing strike by health workers pending hearing of an application filed by the Attorney   general challenging their action.

In the orders, High court judge David Majanja restrained the health practitioners from continuing with the strike after the Ag said thousands of patients are suffering as a result of the illegal strike which commenced on Tuesday December 10.

The judge directed the Ag to serve his suit papers on the Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union, Kenya Health Professional Union, Seth Panyako, Matendechero  Sultani and Moses Lore before hearing which he set for December today in court with all parties.

Health workers has so far defiled the court order arguing they have not been served with the order from the court

The nurses are protesting against what they are terming the hurriedly move by Transitional Authority to devolve heath services to the County government.

However the Ag, says  the ongoing strike is illegal because health services are essential under the Fourth Schedule.

He said the strike has paralyzed provision of essential medical services in public hospitals countrywide endangering the lives of patients,.

According to him,  even if the respondents have a right to strike, the greater public interest is being endangered by the strike.

According to the AG, Article 43(1) guarantees every person the right to the highest attainable heath standards.

The AG to ld the court that Transitional Authority chairman Kinuthia Wa Mwangi  gave notice of approval  of  transfer of services specified in the constitution to the County government.

The nurses unions had previously moved to court to challenge the move to devolve health services to county governments arguing that the transfer is hurriedly done and without following the law.

 In their suit pending in a different court, they claim that the transfer was done contrary to the provisions of the constitution, county government act 2012 and the Transition to be devolved government act.

 The unions are seeking to stop the implementation of a gazette notice Published on August 9 which transferred the health services top county government.

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