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Patients suffer as Coast medics' strike enters day two

Saturday August 17 2019

Coast Provincial General Hospital

The Coast Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa. Patients have been discharged as medics strike enters second day. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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CAROLINE TSUMAH
By CAROLINE TSUMAH
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The administration of Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) Mombasa started discharging patients on Saturday following doctors and nurses’ strike.

The more than 800 health workers are among the over 4,000 county staff on strike over non-payment of July salaries.

However, some of the patients decided to stay in the wards until the health workers resume duties.

DISCHARGED

“Some (patients) are being discharged whereas others are still in the wards but no services are being offered,” said a security officer at the hospital.

The workers blamed Governor Hassan Joho administration for failing to pay salaries on time.

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A spot check by Nation at CPGH revealed critical services including the Intensive Care Unit, Maternity Unit and general wards were the hardest hit.  

“Those are critical areas that cannot operate without doctors. The situation is dire,” said a doctor on strike.

Deputy governor William Kingi said he was not aware that patients were being discharged from the hospital.

DESERTED

“I know there is a strike but I do not know why or whether patients are being discharged from CPGH,” said Dr Kingi.

The largest health facility in Coast region remained deserted following the strike that started on Friday.

At the ICU, patients have been left under the care of two volunteer nurses.  

“There are only two of us here, the strike is real,” one of the volunteer nurses told Nation.

The situation is not any better at the maternity wing. Pregnant women were seen coming out of the ward.

 “There are no health workers to help expectant mothers deliver,” said a pregnant woman who seemed to be in labour pains.

Accident victims at the at the Orthopaedic Surgical Ward number 8 were seen lying on the bed.

NO MEDICINE

Mr Mutunga Nzoki, an accident victim, said no doctor has been seen in the ward area for the last three days.

“I have not received any medicine today, I’m in pain,” said Mr Nzoki.

Despite the sorry situation, the Kenya National Union of Nurses Mombasa branch Secretary Stanley Mwailogho said the strike would not be called off until the workers get their pay.

The Kenya County Government Workers Union Mombasa branch Secretary, Mr Hajj Mwinyi, said a meeting to solve the stalemate did not bear any fruits on Friday.

He, however, said anyone willing to go to work is free to do so.   

“Life is unbearable, we have bills to pay. We met at the governor’s office but the meeting did not bear fruits,” he said.