The strike by Kenyatta National Hospital workers has entered its second day.
According to Citizen, the industrial action has left the National Referral Hospital paralyzed, with one patient dead. Other patients had to seek alternative options.
Over 4,000 workers at KNH downed their tools on Monday, 28 September. The workers had given notice on September 22. The strike involves members of Kenya Union of Nurses, KMPDU and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers.
Kenneth Thuranira, of the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers said that they were striking due to failure by SRC to approve new salary outlines.
According to Thuranira, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has failed to approve the Ksh. 301 million, passed by Parliament and okayed by Treasury in 2012.
Seth Panyako, SG of the Kenya National Union of Nurses accused SRC of failing to harmonise the salaries. This is despite several government agencies okaying the move.
“What we want is to see SRC give that letter, advising Kenyatta National Hospital to effect payment of that money to all affected employees and thereafter the strike will be called off,” Said Panyako.
Regarding the death of a patient due to the strike, KMPDU Secretary-General, said that the incident was unfortunate. However, he said the patient had been in critical condition. This was the cause of death, he said, not the lack of medical care.
“The middle-aged man who passed away at Kenyatta Hospital was unfortunate but Management has clarified that he was in a critical condition and not because there was no medical care. We will hopefully unlock the SRC agreement.” Mwachonda Chibanzi said in an interview with Citizen TV.
Strikes by health workers this year have been plenty, as they also decry neglect even as COVID-19 remains a danger.