Pain, misery and agony as mental patients ‘thrown out’ of hospital
Death, pain and agony; all written on faces of desperate patients as the nurses’ strike enters day three.
The nurses across the country continue to stay away from hospitals contesting the delayed or failure by the government to sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was reached in December last year after a month-long industrial action.
The strike, which commenced Monday, June 5 has seen patients abandoned and others turned away from hospitals over lack of caretakers to attend to them.
The crisis in the health sector reached climax today (Wednesday, June 7) after Mombasa’s Port Reitz Hospital released 30 mentally ill persons.
According to family members of the patients, the hospital asked them to pick their loved ones and go with them home or transfer them to other health facilities, especially the private ones which have not been affected by the strike.
According to one of the family members, they were asked by the hospital’s administration to pick up their loved ones as there were no nurses to attend to them at the facility.
Doctors at the hospital say they are overwhelmed and cannot handle the patients without the nurses.
Another report indicated that six people died at the Coast General Hospital in the same county for lack of attention from the striking nurses.
According to Mombasa County Chief of Staff, Dr Khadija Shikely, three people died on Tuesday, June 6 while three others lost their lives Wednesday.
At the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, 18 patients are alleged to have died after being abandoned by the nurses who are demanding an immediate signing of the CBA by the government.
Even as the nurses continue with the push for the signing of the document, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) under the leadership of Ms Sarah Serem, has allegedly denounced the CBA drafted by the Council of Governors.
The situation has been worsening across the country with nurses remaining adamant that they will not resume duty until their demands are met.
Last year, nurses and doctors downed their tools across the country for a combined period of 60 days with the doctors extending their strike for yet another 40 days.
Strikes by health workers have been a common phenomenal since 2013 when the devolved type of governance came into power.
When will we see an end to this? It is a wait-and-see situation.
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