After talks between the Ministry of Health and Doctor and Nurses collapsed, the Kenyan medics embark on a nationwide strike beginning today. This is after Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Union (KMPDU) officials skipped negotiations.
The government is yet to honour it’s 2013 agreement to increase the health workers’ salaries, hence the ongoing tension. Health cabinet secretary Cleopa Mailu however said that the strike notice by Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Union (KMPDU) was premature as the 90 days the court had given medics and the State to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement had not yet elapsed.
The ongoing health workers’ strike has led to the escape of over a hundred mentally unstable patients from the Mathari Hospital in Nairobi. The “exodus” caused a traffic snarl up along Thika road. An operation is currently underway to retrieve the escaped patients.