, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 5 – Patients seeking treatment at various public health facilities were turned away and referred to other private health facilities as a strike by doctors and nurses kicked off on Monday.
The wards at Coast General Hospital, Nyanza Referral Hospital remained deserted as families have transferred their patients elsewhere.
Only a few sick persons who said they lack money for transport to other hospitals remained in the wards where they were attended to by clinical officers and nurses.
The patients we spoke to appealed to the county administration to urgently find a solution to the crisis and end the suffering of many.
Our reporter from Mombasa, says that Casualty and Emergency Services at the Coast General Hospital have been suspended.
In Kisumu interns at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital are providing services to the patients seeking medical attention.
While the Patient Waiting Bay at the Kisumu Sub-County Hospital were empty as patients kept off as a result of the strike.
Reports from the Kenyatta National Hospital, – the regional largest referral hospital – indicate that doctors and nurses have downed their tools but are on stand-by to respond to any emergency cases that may arise.
Following the strike notice, the Council of Governors and SRC have convened a meeting to iron out the unresolved issues raised by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Doctors Union (KMPPDU) and the sister union, the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN).
In a statement the agenda of the meeting is to re-look at the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed by the respective counties.
The doctors ‘unions, claim both the national and the county governments have constantly failed to take into consideration the agreements that advocated for a 300 per cent pay rise to the medics.
“The CBA that was signed between the Health Ministry and SRC, showed that the lowest paid doctor should earn Sh342,000 while the highest paid doctor should be earning Sh946,000,” said KMPDU Secretary General, Ouma Oluga, in a recent press statement.
This comes after a meeting between the KNUN and KMPPDU and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu to discuss the signing of the contentious collective bargaining agreement on Sunday flopped.
The Ministry of Health, National Treasury, Council of Governors and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had a day-long meeting , in which the Treasury said the salary package can implemented but over time.
The doctors and nurse unions had issued a 21-days strike notice, which elapsed Sunday midnight.
The SRC recently released a report of a 17-month job evaluation exercise affecting civil servants and state officers, which includes all medics.
Both unions have rejected commission’s report on job evaluation, saying it does not indicate what they should earn.