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Hopelessness, no new admissions as nurses’ strike hits Thika Level 5 Hospital.

The situation at Thika Level 5 Hospital on Thursday as the effects of the nurses' strike bit across the country for a 4th day in  a row.
Desperation and pain has hit patients visiting Thika Level 5 Hospital as the nurses’ strike bite for the 4th day now.

A visit at the facility by Thika Town Today revealed that operations were below average as nurses deserted the hospital, with the wards and the outpatient department having close to normal activities courtesy of the hospital doctors, a handful of nurses and what looked like interns and student doctors.

The staff have now been forced to cancel some of the services and make do with the available workforce to offer limited services to those visiting the facility.

Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr. Joseph Waiganjo said that they were handling the situation in the best way they could even though some of the services could not function with scarcity of manpower.

“Yes, as a staff we are doing all that is possible to ensure that we do not turn away any patient who needs our services. However, we are unable to run some emergency services as some of them cannot run without nurses. We are also unable to admit any new patient into our wards due to the limited workforce but those who are already admitted are being well taken care of,” said Dr. Waiganjo.

A spot-check on the facility saw that the casualty department was non-functional as all its beds had been taken outside for repairs and cleaning. There was no single patient being handled in this department.

Some of the patients we talked to expressed their disappointment over the slow pace the staff were handling their cases and appealed to the government to hasten the talks with the nurses’ union in order to bring their suffering to a halt.

“It is now more than an hour since I was rushed here after being hit by a car near Kiganjo Estate as I was going home aboard a bodaboda. I am really suffering in pain and no one seems to get bothered to look at my leg,” said Jennifer Muthoni as she writhed in pain from injuries she had sustained on her right knee.

She appealed for an immediate solution as so many people were suffering as they could not afford to pay hefty bill in private hospitals.

Nurses went on strike on Monday this week over delays a deal meant to have been signed by the union, the national government and county governments, but the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) that advises on public sector pay rejected the deal.

The strike, which has led to patients being sent away from some hospitals, is a headache for both national and county governments ahead of elections in August 8.

The nurses have vowed to continue with the strike until the government signs their collective bargaining agreement (CBA), according to Maurice Opetu, acting general secretary of the 26,000-member Kenya National Union of Nurses.

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