and CAROLINE TANUI
NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 24 – A crisis is looming at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi after 65 nurses on contract downed their tools in protest over unpaid dues since October last year.
Their Spokesman Patrick Mwendwa said they have faced intimidation from the management and called on the government to intervene.
Speaking to Capital News, Mwendwa said that the nurses’ earlier plans to strike were met by threats to be fired.
“We had planned to have this picketing some days back but we were threatened that we will be fired, the hospital has started employing other staff and we haven’t been paid,” he said, “they are employing other nurses with the same terms.”
In a statement, the nurses noted that a previous meeting with the hospital administration has been unsuccessful, citing a previous memo where they had been promised to be paid in 2 weeks.
However, the hospital has blamed the situation on the delayed Linda Mama and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) reimbursements from the Nairobi County Government.
Under the Linda Mama package, the government promised to pay Sh 6,000 to any woman (registered on NHIF) covered.
Geoffrey Mosiria, the hospital administrator assured that the payments are on their final stages and urged the nurses to resume work.
Previously, the medics at the hospital have downed their tools over heavy workload and failure by the government to effect a salary increment.