NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Six patients died in Busia and Kisumu on Tuesday as the crisis following the health workers strike in public hospitals deepened on the second day.
According to the Medical Superintendent in charge of Busia hospital David Mukabi, a male patient aged 24 died at midnight as a result of the doctors’ strike.
“One of the patients who was very sick in our hospital died at about mid night yesterday. As at now, since the strike began, the sick have been going home or seeking medical help elsewhere because no work is going on here,” he stated.
Two other female patients died at Port Victoria Hospital in Budalangi.
At the Kisumu county hospital, three people died as nurses and doctors soldier on with the strike.
A woman died on Monday night while two others passed on Tuesday with workers at the hospital who sought to remain anonymous confirming the deaths.
They stated that more patients are still admitted in the wards and are in critical conditions.
There are several other incidents reported in other public hospitals as a result of the doctors’ strike even as the government announced that it will deploy doctors to manage the situation.
In Nyeri, friends and relatives Hospital were transferring patients to private facilities.
A spot check by Capital FM News at the Nyeri Referral revealed that private cabs were on standby to transfer patients who had been discharged.
The patients and relatives were all pleading with the government to come up with a lasting solution to end the stalemate.
“We have gone round for a very long time and we have a patient who has terminal and we cannot take him home because he cannot stay there. We are still looking for a hospital to help him,” the family of one patient stated.
Many departments including the maternity and paediatric wing were closed with only five men admitted at the Male surgical ward.
“We have gone to the Huruma Centre because there are no hospitals which are operating and we hope that our patient will be taken care of.”
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union explained that doctors are ready for dialogue but however indicated that the strike will continue.
Speaking to Capital FM News, the union’s Secretary General Ouma Oluga maintained that no doctor will report to work until the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the government in 2013 is honoured.
He stated that as part of the CBA, they want a 300 per cent salary increment as stipulated in the document.
He said that the union officials spent the better part of the morning at the Ministry of Health waiting to be engaged in dialogue but walked out since there was no one to talk to them.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses on the other hand has been given a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour to assist with talks between the government and union officials.
The Union says nurses will not heed any calls for dialogue until the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the Government in 2013 is honoured.
The union’s assistant chief trustee Charles Alisoreng stated that the meeting that was called by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu set timelines which he termed as unrealistic.
He told Capital FM News that the agreements signed needed to be implemented immediately before any talks.
“As per now, we are saying that the strike has to continue until our CBAs are honoured. We especially want the one we signed with the national government before devolution honoured and registered urgently,” he stated.
He indicated that the health workers are seeking for harmonization `of salaries of workers within the counties with those of the staff at the National Government.