Moi Referral fires 100 striking nurses
More than 100 nurses have been sacked at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital for participating in the ongoing strike. Names of those dismissed have been pinned on the notice boards at the hospital and the nurses have been asked to pick their dismissal letters from the institution. However, the secretary of the Nurses Union at the hospital Sammy Cheserek asked the sacked nurses to ignore the letters.
He said the union will continue fighting for better terms and conditions of service, even if it means all the workers are sacked. "Do not be intimidated and do not pick the letters. There is nothing to panic about -- we know what the law says," said Cheserek. "We have consulted our lawyers."
The nurses have been accused of participating in an illegal strike, but Cheserek said, "the hospital is being malicious because it knows very well that the strike is procedural." He said the union had signed a legal document with the hospital's management which committed itself to implementing the memorandum of understanding agreement.
The management was aware that failure to honouring the agreement would lead to an industrial action," said Cheserek. A Narc Kenya aspirant Kipkorir Menjo yesterday, accused the government of ignoring the genuine demands the nurses and doctors are raising. Menjo met with the hospital's deputy director Omar Ali and told him, the hospital should not intimidate workers through sacking letters.
"This problem is not specifically about this hospital because we know its the government that has not given adequate money to finance healthcare services," said Menjo. He said the hospital's management should not create more problems by sacking the workers. On Monday four senior doctors and several nurses at the hospital were suspended from duty over the strike.
The four suspended doctors who include officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union, were given a 24-hour ultimatum to respond to the suspension letter or be sacked. The KMPDU branch chairman Mathew Koech and secretary Mogeni Mogaka are among those suspended by the hospital's CEO John Kibosia.
However, Mogaka said the move will not intimidate the doctors, adding that the strike will go on until their concerns are addressed. At the same time the hospital faces a fresh financial crisis after collections from Cost Sharing dropped by more than 80 percent because of the ongoing strike by doctors and nurses.
The hospital may not be able to pay salaries for its 3,500 workers if the strike persists. The hospital usually collects more than Ksh 2 million per day but the figure has now dropped to less than Ksh 300,000 per day.