Counties are negotiating with the Kenya National Union of Nurses over the hiring of more 3,000 nurses who have been working on contract terms. Secretary General of the Nurses Union Seth Panyako says the union has sorted out its differences with counties and the national government on the plight of the affected nurses. The union has ended wrangles with the Uasin Gishu government over failure to permanently hire nurses who have been serving on contracts. Following the move the contract nurses who had been sacked in the area may be reinstated.

The row between the county and the union has led to four strikes by nurses in the region within the last year. Secretary General Seth Panyako says they have made peace with top officials of the county led by Health executive Dr Eunice Siria. “We have held very good talks with the county officials and if we take the direction of dialogue then strikes will not happen again in this county. The strikes only cause suffering for patients,” he said.

Panyako was speaking to journalists in Eldoret on Friday after talks with the county officials. He was with the union’s national chairman John Bii and Uasin Gishu chairman Simon Kibii. The officials asked the contract nurses in all counties to be patient as the union seeks to have their issues fully addressed. Bii and Kibii area also serving suspension by the county, but Panyako said their cases would also be resolved.

Panyako said the union had also resolved to open a new working chapter with the national government following talks with Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia. “He is now consulting us on key issues and we are ready to work with the national government as well so that we improve the health sector in this country,” said Panyako.

The Nurses Union says it is also supportive of the government’s decision to sent 170 medics to help fight the Ebola decease in West Africa. Panyako says the medics have been trained well and their welfare issues including insurance have been addressed. Panyako says the union will work with the government to monitor and support the work to be done by the medics in West Africa.

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