DOCTORS STRIKE ENTERS SECOND DAY AS PATIENTS SUFFER

BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,DEC 6TH,2016-

The  doctors strike entered the second day  Tuesday  countrywide strike as patients continue to feel the weight with effects of the strike being witnessed across the country.

The doctors are pushing for promotions, better pay and a review of job groups under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2013.

The strike has paralysed health services in public hospitals across the country.

By Monday evening, at least seven patients had died while thousands were discharged prematurely.

Patients seeking treatment at public hospitals have been forced to turn to private hospitals for services.

In the North Rift region, private hospitals had to recall staff who were on leave to cope with the increase in the number of patients seeking help.

Wards at Kerugoya Referral Hospital in Kirinyaga County were deserted after relatives transferred patients to private health facilities.

Relatives attend to patients in a ward at

Relatives attend to patients in a ward at Kilifi County Hospital as a strike by health workers entered its second day on December 6, 2016. PHOTO | courtesy  | UPESINEWS

A spot check by upesi News established that Patients were turned away Tuesday morning as there were no health workers at the hospital.

The casualty and emergency department of Kilifi County Referral Hospital remained closed for the second day running.

Several people who had taken family members to the hospital for treatment had to turn to private hospitals instead.

“I have come with my grandfather from Matsangoni but the emergency [department] is closed. One nurse we found in the premises said medics were on strike. I am taking him to a private hospital.

“This is the only health facility that we mainly depend on. I want this strike to end because we don’t have money to seek medical services in private hospitals,” said Zawadi Kenga.

Ms Janet Barkolwo attends to her baby at the

Ms Janet Barkolwo attends to her baby at the Kabarnet County Referral Hospital as doctors strike enters second day on December 6, 2016. PHOTO |UPESI NEWS

In one ward, relatives were attending to their loved ones as a nurse kept an eye on them. However, security guards chased away reporters who were trying to access the area.

At one point, members of the news media were barred by the security guards from entering the hospital, with the guards saying they were acting on orders from management.

At Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital, 21 patients from the surgical ward and 28 others from the medical ward were transferred to private facilities.

County Director of Health James Gitonga said the hospital is calling relatives to pick up 15 patients in the psychiatry ward.

Nairobi County Health Executive Bernard Muia said doctors in the city are on strike but consultants are attending to emergency cases.

He said Nairobi medics should not have gone on strike as they had a return-to-work formula after downing their tools last month.

He said the county had fulfilled their demands.

 

In Marsabit, senior hospital staff were assisting patients in the wards after health workers went on strike.

Patients stayed away from hospitals on Tuesday, aware that the sick were not getting services on Monday because of the strike.

The hospital management said its senior staff will be attending to emergency cases.

Patients who cannot walk or talk were moved from the wards and abandoned on the corridors.

Ms Christine Nyauganda has been at the hospital for three years and was ejected from the ward Monday by nurses.

She said she has nowhere to go and is sleeping on the corridor.

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