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Busia nurses demonstrate over delayed salaries

15 August 2014, 23:00 Jane Zack

Busia - Over 150 health workers from Busia Referral hospital on Thursday evening downed their tools and embarked on a peaceful march to the County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s office demanding to know why their July salary had been delayed.

The health workers who camped outside Ojaamong’s office in Busia town faulted the County Government accusing it for the delay of their payments saying that no official from the county government had bothered to explain to them what was going on.

The chairlady Kenya Progressive Nurses Association Judy Mbanda lamented that despite the delay, they are also subjected to deplorable working conditions without proper infrastructure at the facility.

She further reiterated that the health workers decided to express their displeasure over the unavailability of drugs and some basic working equipment.

“The unavailability of medicine in the hospital pharmacy puts us and our patients in danger and we accuse the County government for abandoning the hospital.” Mbanda said.

She added: “We are also demonstrating since the logistics that we are supposed to use to work are not available in the facility, and due to that some patients are not able to get the medicines prescribed for them.”

“As nurses, we are advocating for our patients and therefore the government should intervene. Most of our patients cannot afford the medication.” Mbanda cited.

The angry nurses said that until everybody is paid, that is when they will be able to go to work.

“Until those issues are tackled, we are not working. Until we ensure that each and every one of us is paid, that is when we will come in agreement and that is when we will go back to work”. They said.

They told journalists that the devolution of health services to county governments has been fraught with mismanagement, frozen promotions and reduced or delayed salaries, among other issues.

They urged the National Government to reverse the transfer of salaries and the entire management of health services to the county governments.

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