A national health crisis is looming after the government on Wednesday ruled out allocating Sh11.6 billion to the counties for doctors and nurses’ salaries as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed last year. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said it would not be possible to provide the money and asked the counties to work within the Sh314 billion allocated to them, meaning that they will have to adjust their development budgets. “Counties will have to reprioritise their budgets. Any additions in terms of wage bill must be managed within the equitable share of revenue,” Mr Rotich said when he appeared before the Finance and Budget committee of the Senate. The decision was immediately opposed by the Council of Governors (CoG) and the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), which threatened to call a national strike. “It is the business of the national government and the counties to sort out their own problems. What we know is that we have a binding agreement in place that needs to be implemented,” Dr Oluga said. The CBA was signed last year on November 2 by the nurses, doctors, the 47 county governments and the Health ministry to end a five-month long strike, which had totally crippled services in public hospitals. The Treasury’s decision not to release the funds could work against the government’s stated objective to achieve affordable universal healthcare, which is part of the Jubilee administration’s ‘Big Four’ agenda. It is also likely to rekindle the acrimonious relations between the two levels of government on revenue-sharing

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