Four out of the six doctors in Lamu have resigned, citing lack of promotions and nonpayment of allowances. This has left the whole county with only two doctors, one at the Mpeketoni Hospital and the other at Lamu County Hospital. Dulkiflins Franklins, Brian Mwendwa, Timamy Al-Alawi and Barbara Mutimos resigned yesterday. Mwendwa told the press at the Lamu County Hospital yesterday that they tendered their resignation letters on February 2.

Mwendwa said they had been promised promotions in meetings with Governor Issa Timamy, Health executive Mohamed Kombo and the county public service board. But all those promises were in vain. He said they have not received their January salaries.

Mwendwa said they were to be promoted to medical officers but they are being paid as intern doctors. “We are supposed to get our arrears for the years we have been working in this county,” he said. “Some of us have been here for over four years and we are being short-changed.” Mwendwa said that their demands for a risk allowance for working in a security operation zone have fallen on deaf ears.

He said some colleagues working in Mpeketoni resigned after the June 15 and 16, 2014 terror attacks. “I reported a week before the Mpeketoni attacks and was persuaded by the governor not to resign after the bloody killings. We have been forced to work in both Lamu and Mpeketoni hospitals due to lack of doctors,” Mwendwa said. Kombo said the doctors’ resignations are ill-timed as the grievances are being handled.

He said they have been following up the issue with the human resource department and the public service board, who were reviewing the doctors’ files as well as those of dentists, clinical officers and laboratory technicians. Kombo said he will hire part-time doctors before the county public service board advertises the positions.

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