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KNH Othaya Mistreating Contractual Staff

CAPTION: KNH CEO Dr Evanson Kamuri Njoroge

A section of frustrated workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Othaya, Nyeri County, are up in arms over the alleged blatant prejudice against contractually hired staff.

The oppressed medical practitioners claim that the facility’s administration has been showing open favouritism towards permanent employees who are reportedly accorded much higher respect compared to their interim counterparts.

They view this ill-treatment as completely unfair since a majority of the affected contractual employees began working at the hospital in June 2019 when it was first opened by the national government under the Ministry of Health (MoH) led by Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe.

By this point, we knew it as the Mwai Kibaki Hospital, with over 200 staff recruited directly by MoH.

However, in November of the same year, MoH handed it over to KNH and renamed it the “Kenyatta National Hospital, Othaya”.

The name change was not all.

The new management advertised for over 300 permanent positions, which left the jobs of the previous pioneer workers in great jeopardy as most of their contracts were about to expire.

Fortunately for them, a reprieve beckoned in October 2020 when KNH finally offered them new contracts valid until 2023.

READ ALSO: Slavery At KNH: 6 Issues That Need To Be Addressed

Although their daily bread was secure for an extra three years, it left most heavily demotivated with their hopes of gaining permanent employment rudely quashed right before their eyes.

To make matters worse, the new management embarked on a silent ‘clean up’ process that saw many of the contractual staff demoted from various units as heads and denied a chance to further studies based on the KNH policy that forbids schooling whilst on contract.

Strong concerns have also arisen regarding skewed promotions where junior officers are made the bosses of more learned and more qualified senior doctors.

As all this happens, their cries have fallen on the deaf ears of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU) whose officials have apparently been compromised into silence by KNH boss Dr Kamuri.

They often quote the arrogant boss telling those unsatisfied to leave quietly and find better jobs.

“Hi, Nyakundi.

Please, bro, consider highlighting KNH Othaya, which is mistreating contractual staff while employing their kin permanently.

The Mwai Kibaki hospital was opened in 2019 June by MOH and later, in November of the same year, it was handed to KNH and renamed Kenyatta National Hospital Othaya.

The over 200 staff from the ministry included nurses, doctors, and other cadres.

KNH went ahead, advertised for jobs and employed an additional 300 staff on permanent and pensionable.

The staff from the ministry later in October 2020 were taken by KNH on a 3-year contract.

Their contract with MOH was never cancelled, but KNH gave them a new one.

They were further demoted from various units as heads and denied a chance to further studies since KNH has a policy that you can’t school while on contract.

It has been so unfair to the pioneer staff being mistreated while the new staff are enjoying.

This issue has been raised with MOH, PSC and the Ministry of Labour, but KNH has blatantly never appeared in the summons or even done any formal response.

Typically, in a ward, there are staff under the same cadre, e.g. nurses on contract and others on contract.

The hospital nurse manager is vulgar to contract nurses.

The current contract is ending in October 2023.

We expect the president to commission the hospital soon but the truth is staff are so demoralised.

KNUN and KMDPU were scared off and distanced themselves from the issue only to leave staff suffering.

The CEO, Dr Kamuri, is very arrogant when the issue is raised.

He actually says those who aren’t happy with the contract to resign and leave,” the source writes.


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