EMPLOYER OF CHOICE?

Top city hospital admits paying nurses less than competitors

The matter at The Nairobi Hospital is being resolved alongside other complaints

In Summary

•Kenyatta National Hospital named the best payer

•The Nairobi Hospital has promised an increment of 10-12 per cent guided by performance, tenure and promotions

Nairobi hospital. photo/FILE
WRANGLES Nairobi hospital. photo/FILE
Image: FILE

The Nairobi Hospital pays staff lower salaries than its competitors, according to an internal memo obtained by the Star.

The hospital management is also aware of multiple complaints by workers but it is working to resolve the issues and remain an employer of choice.

"We are working on equity adjustments to remedy salary issues such as wrong grading, significant salary lag to comparable internal positions or inequity compared to market pay,” hospital managing director Christopher Abeid said. 

Abeid wrote the memo on April 5 in his capacity as the acting chief executive officer. He said the new staff salary raise will be dealt with in due course. 

Officials from other hospitals who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity said Kenyatta National Hospital was the best employer in terms of pay. 

"I have worked at a number of hospitals and from what I gather, Kenyatta's starting salary for a nurse is Sh100,000. Mater, Gertrude and MP Shah hospitals pay 70,000 while Nairobi and Karen pay Sh50,000," the nurse said. 

"Other private hospitals and most county-ran hospitals are paying Sh30,000." 

Abeid had told the staff to expect letters by Wednesday, April 10 and in the case of clarifications, the Human Resource director would provide guidance.

"They should join the union. Organisations such as Medicine San Frontiers Kenya are paying up to Sh150,000 for new nurses. However, I can't comment on the issues of people who are not our members. They should join us," Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako told the Star by phone.

The increment, which is between 10 and 12 per cent, will be guided by performance, tenure and promotions.

“In recognising the success of the hospital, due to your commitment and hard work, the board of management has approved a review of the salaries based on performance and inflation with effect from April 1, this year," the MD said. 

Abeid is acting after The Nairobi Hospital board suspended Gordon Odundo for 90 days. He was first suspended last year in mid-December. The suspension was supposed to expire on March 13, but in a board meeting in February, the suspension was extended by 30 days to April 13.

The move followed wrangles over the management of the Sh8 billion hospital projects. 

Two board members representing the Medical Advisory Committee were recalled after it emerged that the board was ignoring their views. When the committee later recommended two fresh names, the board refused to admit them. The board, as currently constituted, does not have doctors' representatives. Doctors are critical in hospital management.

The Kenya Hospital Association has called for a meeting to address the wrangles.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)