Patients suffer as nurses in Kitui join strike, abandon duty

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Patients in Kitui County Referral Hospital have been left to suffer after the nurses downed tools on Monday in a countrywide strike to protest poor pay.

The dejected patients were left at the mercy of their relatives as no medic was available to attend to them.

The management even advised the patients and their kin to seek treatment from private hospitals since the hospital was faced with a serious staff challenge.

The Medical Superintended Dr J.N. Mungai said not a single nurse had reported to work at the facility since the industrial action begun early Monday.

“Only the doctors and clinical officers are on duty but they cannot do much because it is the nurses who do much of the work around here” he said.

The major county referral hospital was mostly deserted with about ten patients, whose fractured limbs have been put under traction, remaining in the casualty ward as they could not be moved.

Mr Musyoka Kithome, who was nursing a broken leg at the hospital, said the medics had since neglected them at their hospital beds and only relied on relatives for care.

The patients urged the national and county governments to swiftly address demands made by the nurses and put to an end their suffering.

The nurses want a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed between the Kenya Union of Nurses (KNUN) and CoG implemented but the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) rejected it yesterday.

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