Patients hit, hospitals shut as staff press on with strike in Taita Taveta
SEE ALSO :Samboja survives impeachment motionChamaembe Simba said his father was suffering from chest pains and pneumonia. These two cases just serve to show the heavy toll the strike has had on the region. Scores of poor patients discharged from public hospitals continue to die at home for lack of medical care. Frank Mmare, the chairperson of the County Assembly’s health committee, claimed 16 patients discharged from hospitals have so far died. He warned that more deaths could happen if a lasting solution to the strike is not found. Public hospitals, which have always been a hive of activity, are now deserted.
SEE ALSO :Granton Samboja nominees vetted“It is not the health workers alone who are complaining over statutory deductions. I am also facing a similar problem,” said the CEC. He disclosed a meeting would be held today to try and find out a lasting solution to the problem. Two meetings convened earlier to reach a settlement on the ongoing health workers' strike hit a deadlock last week. This was after the Executive and officials of the health workers union clashed over statutory deductions. The union officials revealed that the stormy meetings ended in disarray, without any tangible solution to end the strike. The union officials took the Executive to task to explain why it had not been remitting statutory deductions. Last week, the workers staged a demonstration in Voi town where they blocked the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway. They demanded to know why the county administration had been taking statutory deductions from their salaries but failed to remit them. The union officials were led by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union Coast branch official Richard Wangai and the Kenya National Union of Nurses branch secretary Richard Nyambu. Mr Nyambu said the executive is yet to remit more than Sh26 million to Afya Sacco, which had affected the disbursement of loans to members. He revealed that the dues are for the months of June, July and August, this year. The union official further noted that the county administration is yet to implement the comprehensive insurance cover for all health workers despite having a committee in place for five months now. “Perennial staff shortages, irrational employment, drugs/non-pharmaceutical shortages and poor working conditions are some of the major challenges facing health facilities. And despite several engagements with the relevant county government offices, the issues have remained unresolved,” said Nyambu. “We presented evidence from the Sacco to the Executive. We will only return to work if the county administration pays August salaries and statutory deductions to the Sacco, NHIF and NSSF.”
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.