The Health CS, Susan Nakhumicha, has called on striking doctors to resume their duties to prevent innocent patients from suffering.

Speaking to journalists from her office on Thursday, April 20, Nakhumicha urged the doctors to engage with county governments in a dialogue to resolve their grievances over delayed salaries and non-remittance of statutory deductions, so as to avert a collapse of healthcare services.

She stressed that the health workers are Kenyan citizens and should allow the government time to pursue economic recovery for their smooth operations.

"The health workers are not foreigners in this country, they live in this country and the president has said that as a country, we are in a bad state in terms of the economy,”

"Nakhumicha said.It’s upon them to allow for dialogue and for the president to steer the country towards economic recovery so that their issues can be addressed."

The CS made the plea amidst the paralyzation of public health services in the counties of Vihiga, Bomet, Kisumu, and Nyamira.

Doctors went on strike starting from Wednesday protesting against delayed salaries and employers' failure to remit statutory deductions.

As a consequence, patients who needed medical attention in these counties were denied services, and some had to resort to costly private hospitals.

Nakhumicha appealed to the striking doctors to show their patriotism and resume their work as they trust the government to resolve the grievances.

However, Nakhumicha noted healthcare service delivery in Kenya is a devolved function, with the counties being responsible for delivering healthcare services to their citizens.

She added that the national government provides policies and guidelines while the Ministry of Health mediates to ensure that health workers receive the necessary support from county governors to deliver quality healthcare services

“Health is devolved and healthcare service delivery is done by the counties. The national government only provides policies and guidelines. What the Ministry of Health is doing is to mediate to ensure that what the health workers are asking for, the governor is able to provide,” she said.

Nakhumicha also announced that the government will soon operationalize the Kenya Health Human Resource Advisory Council to advise on how to deal with health workers across all cadres in the country.

She emphasized the need for harmonization of health workers' welfare management at the national level, in addition to what the counties are doing.