The nurses and doctors strike has entered its day 3 on Wednesday as more deaths are reported with no hope of finding the solution soon.
On Tuesday, three more patients succumbed to their illness bring the number to 12 as doctors and nurses insisted that they will not go back to work unless the 2013 CBA is implemented in full.
In Kakamega Referral Hospital, nine patients were ejected from the wards by the hospital guards and dumped at the gate leaving those who were unable to afford transport back to their homes to spend the night in the cold.
Family members in most parts of the country were forced to withdraw their patients from public hospitals and either take them home or for those who were able to private hospitals.
Talks between doctors and the medical practitioners seem to be yielding no fruits with the striking doctors blaming the government for playing propaganda instead of addressing the real issue.
“We are willing to talk with the government but the government is not willing. Today (Tuesday) our team was at the ministry as early as 8 in the morning for a meeting that the ministry kept postponing,” said Mr. Olunga Ouma, the Secretary General of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacist Union speaking in one of the local TV stations.
According to the CBA that was signed in the year 2013, Kenyan doctors are demanding for a 300 percent increase in salaries blaming the government for taking them for a joke since the CBA was signed three years ago, and through their Secretary General, they insist that they will go back to work with nothing less but the implementation of the CBA. If the demands are implemented, the least paid doctor will earn 342,000 shillings while the highest paid doctor will earn 940,000 shillings from the current 40,000 and 500,000 shillings respectively.
“The government has been avoiding us. Even after we issued a strike notice, we were still open for talks but they made no attempt,” said Mr. Ouma. “In real sense, doctors are not on strike. It is the government that is on strike,” he added.
The ailing health sector ran into more turmoil when it was devolved and put under the county governments. Doctors in most counties have been going on strike blaming the county governments for neglecting them and refusing to pay them on time. There have been several attempts to return the health sector under the functions of the National Government but the governors have insisted that they are able and capable of handling the sector.