Health services go on despite CoG directive, survey shows

Friday, September 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Patients being attended to at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital. y Photo/PD/Raphael Munge

Health services in the counties continued normally, despite the decision by the Council of Governors(CoG) to shut down devolved units due to lack of funds, following the stalemate at the Senate over revenue sharing formula.

A spot check  by the People Daily at various hospitals  across the country, showed that patients had  turned for treatment , and medics  were offering services normally.

In Kiambu County, most hospitals among them Thika and Gatundu Level Five, Igegania and Ruiru level four hospitals were  offering both inpatient and outpatient services.

“I came in for a medical checkup following a severe stomach complication and I have been treated and discharged without any hiccup,” said a patient at Thika Level Five hospital.

According to Thika Level Five Hospital Superintendent Jesse Ngugi, all doctors on duty reported to work to attend to patients.

In Mombasa County, operations  went on uninterrupted, with health workers seemingly unmoved by the CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya’s announcement that they should halt operations.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union Secretary-General Coast branch Abi Mwachi, however said they had issued a strike notice to  the county government of Mombasa, and they will down their tools on September 26.

“We are preparing for a major strike, six days from now to press for our unfulfilled demands for the past three years.

Our members will only follow orders from the union and not governors,” said Dr Mwachi, adding their upcoming strike is not in any way connected to the CoG call.

The secretary-general said that even before the current stalemate, governors have continued to downplay their calls for promotions and allowances, something he described as a sign of hypocrisy on the part of governors.

“Let them wait for the mother of all strikes on September 26, should the status quo remain,” he insisted.

 In Nyamira County, patients turned up for services at the various hospitals despite the CoG directive.

At  Keroka,Esani,Ekerenyo,Manga sub-county health institutions and the county referral hospital, medics were there to attend to patients .

 A patient at Esani sub-county who identified himself as Peter Magare, said  it was unfortunate for CoG  to call for the close of the health facilities over revenue allocation formula impasse.

“A leader who does not have respect   for the   lives of Kenyans  because of  his love for money has no business being in power,” Magare remarked.

Nyamira County director of medical services Cyrus Ayunga termed Oparanya’s utterances as unfortunate and uncalled for, saying he had no authority to call for halt of services in government institutions .

“I have worked at the Ministry of  Health for the last 30 years, but I have never heard a government closing its own institutions which offer essential  services. Medics go on strike but the government has never closed health facilities,” he stated.

Essential services

In Kisii county, the situation was the same as health services were offered without any interruption.

A junior officer at the Department of Health who requested not to be named said they were aware of Oparanya’s directive but were waiting for an official communication from Governor Ongwae’s office.  In Uasin Gishu County, health care services in most public hospitals continued despite the  advisory.

A spot check of the hospitals  showed that health staff were attending to scores of patients, with the maternity wings of the hospital admitting high number of expectant women.

Cornelius Lolima from West Pokot says that he brought his expectant wife to Uasin Gishu District Hospital and she had a safe delivery.

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