Operations in public hospitals remained paralysed on day one of nurses’ strike as both the national and county governments pointed an accusing finger at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for the delay in concluding the contested Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
One person is reported to have died at Samburu Teaching and Referral Hospital after he was turned away by striking nurses when he sought medication.
At the same hospital, six mothers were forced to take away their premature babies while in Mombasa, patients were ejected from the Coast General Hospital by the striking nurses.
Council of Governors chairman Josephat Nanok called for patience as SRC finalises on the document, saying the negotiating parties have already concluded a draft document.
According to Nanok, the salaries commission is expected to issue a “no objection” letter in relation to the content of the draft CBA.
“Once SRC makes a pronouncement on the matter, county governments will go ahead and sign the CBA with the nurses union,” he said.
Speaking during a joint briefing of the national and county governments, the Turkana county chief reiterated that both levels of government were committed to ensuring improved working conditions for all health workers.
In Nakuru over 1,200 nurses joined the strike. KNUN Nakuru Secretary General Cyprian Odera accused SRC of failing to approve the CBA.
“We have joined the national strike because we have lost patience and until the CBA is signed and implemented we will not go back to work,” Odera said.
A similar scenario was replicated at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital where services were paralysed.
Patients were stranded as the union’s two-week notice ended, thus marking the beginning of the strike.