Nurses threaten to withdraw services at KNH, MTRH - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 27 December 2020

Nurses threaten to withdraw services at KNH, MTRH


The nurses’ union has threatened to withdraw services in Kenyatta National Hospital and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital should the ongoing strike remain unresolved in the next seven days.

Nurses in the two referral hospitals had been exempted from the strike by the union based on the fact that most of the issues raised had been addressed by the hospital boards.

While speaking in Nairobi on Saturday, the Kenya National Union of Nurses SG Seth Panyako said the nurses are the most important in the health sector, adding that despite the ministry signed a return to work agreement with doctors, hospitals are still not functioning.

Doctors on Thursday called off their strike after signing a return to work formula with the government.

The nurses and clinical officers have been on strike for the past 20 days with more than six meetings scheduled to find a solution proving abortive.

As at Saturday, 34 nurses had succumbed to Covid-19 in their line of duty.

“I have not heard any government official wanting to know why there is no strike in MTRH and KNH, but they are very busy coming to say there is no strike in the national referral hospital. They think it is by accident, it is by design,” Panyako said.

“We are ready to sit on the table I am a leader, I know you are a government official, I know you are powerful; you can order my arrest but let me tell you history will judge you so harshly.”

The SG noted that the focus should be on the issues that have taken nurses out of hospitals, adding that health centres which are affordable to Kenyans are manned by nurses and clinical officers yet they remain closed due to the strike.

The healthcare workers have been on strike demanding for provision of quality and standard PPEs, comprehensive medical cover, risk allowance, hiring of more healthcare workers and dedicated health facilities per county for those who contract Covid-19 while on duty.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses SG Seth Panyako speaks to journalists at a Nairobi Hotel on December 26, 2020
The Kenya National Union of Nurses SG Seth Panyako speaks to journalists at a Nairobi Hotel on December 26, 2020

The nurses are blaming the government of abandoning conciliatory talks adding the negotiation stalled after threats were issued by the CS.

“The nurses are the hospitals; the nurses are the healthcare system. We are the central nervous system of the hospital and there is no hospital that can function when the central nervous system has broken down,” the SG said.

Panyako also said the nurses will not be going back to work until the government lays bare the evidence on which the medical cover provided by each county government, adding that only nurses in counties that have met the demands will be allowed to resume duty.

“Stop calling health workers names. When you call us names we will call you names. When you say we are drunkards we get Covid by drinking in bars we will also tell you you are a drunkard because it is only a drunkard who can tell us we are getting Covid from bars.”

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