Helpless patients jam private health facilities in Kakamega

Private hospitals jammed in Kakamega County following a nurses’ strike that has paralysed services in public health facilities in area.

A spot check by The Standard showed patients queuing outside private hospitals in Kakamega town waiting for their turn to be attended to.

Patients seeking services at the Kakamega General hospital (KGH) were forced to look for alternative health facilities to be treated as some nurses watched over fence.

Some patients could be seen lying on the ground unsure of their next move at the KGH while others looked too weak to walk to the next health facility.

SEE ALSO :Medics’ strikes led to deaths, survey shows

Kenya National Union of Nurses Kakamega branch Secretary General Renson Bulunya said all 1,133 nurses in the county have downed tools in solidarity with their colleagues countrywide.

"Out of the 1,133, we have 85 who are working on contract and 48 are on probation while the rest are permanent and pensionable employees," he told journalists outside the Kakamega General Hospital causality ward.

By Wednesday morning, there were a few clinical officers attending to some patients but appeared to be overwhelmed by the work.

"The clinical officers will soon give up and no services will be offered here until our plight is fully addressed by the employer," said Bulunya.

Some patients interviewed by The Standard claimed not to be aware of the nurses’ strike that enters fourth day this morning.

Others said they could not afford medical charges at private hospitals which appears to be raking in a lot of money thanks to the strike.

According to Bulunya said all the nurses want is the signing and registration of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) agreed upon earlier by all the actors.

"It has to be signed and registered in a court of law so that those concerned can be compelled to implement it to the letter," he argued.

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