Thika highway users were today, December 5, stuck in traffic for hours after mentally ill patients escaped Mathari Hospital following the nationwide health workers strike.
Health workers are protesting the government’s failure to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which was agreed on three years ago.
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They are demanding for a review of promotions, job groups, deployment and transfer of medical officers as well as remuneration, as stipulated in the signed CBA.
They are, most importantly, demanding that the government employs more doctors to reduce workload while increasing the doctor-patient ratio.
The strike, which was announced on December 4 after the expiration of the 21-day notice, and its effects, have already been felt across the country.
Over 100 patients were said to have escaped the hospital or at least attempted to with some climbing the walls and causing traffic on Thika Road, which runs by the hospital.
Motorists had to wait in traffic for a while as officials launched a manhunt to return the patients back to the hospital.
Police say 13 escaped patients have been caught and returned to their wards. The other mental patients, however, still remain at large as the operation to capture those missing continues.
According to a Nairobi News report, among those who escaped Mathari Hospital was former boxing champion Conjestina Achieng.
She was among the patients who tried to make a run for it but was found at around 12:30 pm and returned to her ward at the hospital.
Conjestina had been discharged from Kisumu Sub County hospital on Tuesday, November 29, where she had been admitted for a month.
She was admitted to hospital following Kenyans plea to the government to come to her aide as she was battling mental illness.