Kenya: Patients at KNH on Their Own as Workers Go on Strike

9 September 2019

Workers at Kenyatta National Hospital have downed their tools to protest delayed disbursement of improved salaries and allowances.

The strike, which commenced on Monday morning, has paralysed services at the top referral hospital in the region.

The Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions and Hospital Workers (Kudheiha) called the strike after the expiry of a 14-day notice to protest the failed implementation of a State resolution that upgraded the hospital's parastatal status.

According to Albert Njeru, the secretary General of Kudheiha, despite the union issuing the strike notice no one from the hospital or the Ministries of Labour and Health tried to engage them.

"To our surprise, no serious discussion, attempt or commitment has come from the management of KNH nor the government," Njeru said.

The union leaders have vowed to continue with the strike until all their demands are met.

The union is now demanding the implementation of resolutions from the State Corporation Advisory Committee that was passed in 2012.

The resolution upgraded the hospital's parastatal status from 3C to 7A.

Following the upgrade, the salaries of staff was improved as detailed in a circular dated September 13, 2012.

The changes in remuneration were to be reflected in the workers' basic salaries and allowances, including house and leave allowances.

According to the union, until to date the only person who has enjoyed the benefit of the circular is the CEO of Kenyatta National Hospital.

"No one has benefited expect the CEO of KNH and we are asking, is he the only worker at the hospital?" Njeru said.

In 2012, the hospital had stated that it was unable to fund the proposal and had sought the ministry's help in getting the money to pay workers.

In total the hospital need Sh 2.5 billion to effect changes in three phrases.

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