Reprieve for Patients as Court Orders KHN Healthcare Workers to End Strike

A Nairobi Labour Court on Tuesday ordered striking healthcare workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital to end their strike pending a petition filed by the hospital. 

The Kenyatta National Hospital management had moved to court on Tuesday to stop the strike after more than 5,000 workers took to the street on Monday. 

Striking Workers ordered to end strike
Striking Kenyatta National Hospital workers. Image/Courtesy

KNH board chairman George Ooko while asking the workers unions to consider negotiations, asked the employees to end their strike to allow for a round table solution.

“We have gone to court this afternoon asking the industrial court for injunction against this strike to allow for time for negotiations on this matter,” Ooko said.

The board chairman added that critical services at the facility were ongoing and that it was unfortunate that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the unions had not made headway in their negotiations.

“It is regrettable that it has come to this, given our worker’s frontline role in managing and containing the Covid-19 pandemic. As an essential service provider, the hospital management continues to engage with the Union officials, the SRC and the ministries of Labour and Health to resolve the impasse,” he said.

While responding to Mr. Ooko, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) acting Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda pointed fingers at cSRC for playing hardball and refusing to give direction and therefore workers will not go back to work.

“Tomorrow we shall escalate the issue and march to SRC and demand for what is rightfully ours,” Mwachonda said.

Earlier today, a devastated woman named as Francisca Kinuthia was filmed outside Kenyatta National Hospital crying and begging the healthcare workers to attend to a critically ill patient that required urgent medical attention. 

The woman’s pleas fell on deaf ears as the striking workers looked on without taking any action. 

The woman and her relatives were forced to look for alternatives to find treatment for their kin. 

“Mr president, we are suffering. We hop from one hospital to another in the hope that our loved ones will be treated, but we do not get any help,” she cried. 

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