11 December 2012

Kenya: Kilifi Turns to Private Hospitals Over Strike

Private hospitals at Kilifi have seen an increase in the number of patience following the nurses' strike. Two leading private hospitals, Pwani Medical Services and Wananchi Nursing Home have admitted patients to capacity.

Patients have been forced to seek other alternatives following the lack of services at Kilifi District Hospital where nurses have vowed to go on striking till their demands are met.

The hospital serves as a referral to all health facilities in Ganze, Kilifi, Kaloleni and Rabai districts. "We know the community is suffering because of the strike but we want to serve them better and the only way is for the government to make sure our welfare is well catered for," said Kilifi National Nurses Association of Kenya chair Pauline Masha.

Speaking at the hospital, Masha said the county is understaffed but the government has not done much to address the issue. "There are only 300 nurses. We have a deficit of about 600 nurses," she added.

Most of the workstations are poorly equipped but nurses have been trying their best to serve the public, Masha said. Yesterday, nurses from Malindi and Kilifi matched on the streets of Kilifi town to show their solidarity to the strike.

However, most patients who were discharged from the district hospital due to the strike complained of the high cost of treatment at the private hospitals.

"I now have no option but to go home and wait for God to intervene because I have been discharged but I am still very sick. I cannot afford to pay the bills at any private hospital. That's why I have decided to go home and wait for my time to come," said George Masha.

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