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Patients turned away as nurses’ strikes bites

By STANDARD REPORTER | Tue,Jun 06 2017 14:19:02 EAT

 Empty hospital beds (Photo Courtesy)

Patients seeking services at various county health facilities were turned away as the countrywide nurses' strike entered its second day. The patients were stranded on where to seek medical services as major operations in public hospitals remained paralyzed in Nakuru County. A number of patients were discharged from various hospitals while some were stranded in the wards following accumulated bills. Those stranded in wards were however not able to receive medical services as nurses kept away from the facilities. At the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, even desperate patients who had travelled from far were told to return home to seek services in private facilities. A section of patients in wards remained unattended to, and only those who managed to clear medical bills were discharged.

The Kenya National Nurses Union (KNNU) Nakuru branch general secretary Syprine Odera said the strike is still on, till they receive communication from national union representatives. "Nurses are ready to report back at their works stations, but only after the CBA is signed, and the strike cancelled from national union leaders," said Odera. Medical services in hospitals and health centers will be paralyzed beginning Wednesday as nearly 400 nurses in Bomet are set to join the nationwide strike. Kenya National Union of Nurses Bomet branch Secretary Bernard Cheruiyot said all its members will boycott duty to demand implementation of an agreement with the county government of Bomet and the Collective bargaining agreement with the national government.

"We are in solidarity with our colleagues' country wide but also we will be pressing for the implementation on of a 12.5 per cent pay rise we entered as a union with the county government of Bomet," Cheruiyot told the standard. He nurses will not turn up for work warning the county government against intimidating the members from exercise their rights picket. Cheruiyot said the KNUN members will assembly in Bomet town for a street protest that will mark the beginning of a boycott until their demands are met. "When the officials signed the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the county governor Isaac Ruto, the 12.5 percent increment they were already earning was shelved and the agreement ignored," he said. Patients who had been admitted at Nyahururu and Nanyuki county hospitals have been advised to seek treatment at private hospitals.

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