Patients forced to seek medical services in private facilities owing to nurses strike

Patients stranded at the Coast General hospital at a past medics strike PHOTO COURTESY

Kilifi,KENYA:Patients all over the country have been forced to look for health services in private health facilities. This is owing to a nurses strike for the past three weeks that has paralyzed health services in most public hospitals.

A spot check by Baraka FM shows that a large number of patients from various rural parts of the  coast region travel long distances to get services from private hospitals.

Clara Suma who is the administrator of Mariakani Medical center, a private facility in Kilifi County says the number of patients has increased by about 100 percent since the nurses strike began.

Clara added that the patients travel from neighboring towns of Voi,Mombasa and Kwale.

She also said that their medical staff has been to increase their working hours to cater for the influx of patients.

The facility which does not offer inpatient facilities has been forced to admit patients who are in critical condition.

Jackline Chizi who spoke to Baraka FM said  she traveled all the way from Jomvu in Mombasa county 34 kilometers away to seek medical services at the facility.

“I am comfortable in this facility because i thought they would hike their charges owing to the nurses strike but that has not been the case.”Jackline said.

The nurse’s strike is now in its third week with nurses showing no sign of returning to work.

On Sunday the council of governor advised  the county authorities to terminate their contribution to the union of nurses KNUN.

On Monday nurses held demonstrations in the capital Nairobi to demand the government to sign a December 2016 collective bargaining agreement.