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September 27, 2017

Kijabe hospital reduces admissions over strike

Striking nurses of the AIC Kijabe Mission Hospital at Lari sub county headquarters on Monday.
Striking nurses of the AIC Kijabe Mission Hospital at Lari sub county headquarters on Monday.

AIC Kijabe Hospital has reduced the number of inpatients it can admit following a nurses strike that started on Monday.

In a statement issued to newsrooms yesterday, the hospital communication team said only emergency cases at the casualty and critical conditions will be attended to.

The mission hospital will also reduce the number of patients admitted in its wards and referral cases from other hospitals.

“As we sort out this strike, we will reduce the number of admissions and referrals we receive because of the limited capacity” reads the statement.

The hospital has, however, assured the general public that it’s clinics in Naivasha, Marira in the Kwa Mathore area along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and Nairobi will remain operational.

The main hospital, which is 7km from the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, will receive accident victims and critical conditions such as fire victims.

Over 300 caregivers, who are members of Kenya National Union of Nurses, downed their tools demanding a 36.7 per cent on their salaries.

KNUN deputy secretary general Maurice Opetu said the lowest paid nurse earns a Sh 18,000 and a house allowance of 4,176 a month.

“This is too little compared to the kind of work we do. There have been negotiations on this issue but the hospital management has refused to honour the agreement,” Opetu said.

Speaking at Lari subcounty headquarters, Opetu said the nurses will not return to work until their demands are addressed.

The nurses had gone to the deputy county commissioner Aaron Koros’s office demanding a permit to hold a peaceful protest on Monday.

They said that when they issued a strike notice on January 25, a court order was issued stopping the Monday’s strike.

Opetu was accompanied by KNUN officials from the hospital Richard Kamau, Elector Juma and George Mburu.

The hospital, however, said it is committed to negotiate the nurses' salaries and a allowances.

with KNUN over its nurse’s salaries and other allowances.

However, Opetu advised the nurses to remain at home as negotiations are ongoing between the KNUN and the hospital management.

“We advise our nurses to remain at home until an agreement is reached. Any attempt by the hospital to hire other nurses will be dealt with it legally” Opetu warned.

Patients have urged the management to hasten the talks since they are suffering as they wait in the long queues at the outpatient wing.

“We went there at 8am and we were treated at 3pm. If there were enough nurses, we’d have left before 1pm, just like what happens. They need to quicken their agreements” says Paul Mwangi.

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