Healthcare stares at total shutdown in prolonged medics’ strike

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Irin Muchiri (left) and her relative Munira Mohamed stranded at Coast General Referral Hospital, Mombasa, yesterday when they sought maternity services. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

With a number of counties unable to facilitate the return to work for its striking medics, healthcare system in the country is staring at a total shutdown. 

Amid all this, agony and pain continue to ravage poor Kenyans visiting public hospitals as the industrial action continues to bite. 

A spotcheck at the counties revealed minimal activities in government hospitals, with empty waiting benches, wards and corridors portraying the new normal. 

The healthcare workers are protesting inadequate insurance benefits and lack of protective equipment while treating Covid-19 patients among others. Calls to have the healthcare workers back to work has proven futile. 

In Mombasa, the situation was similar as the county government announced that it had no money to cater for all demands by the healthcare workers.

According to the county Finance Executive Maryaum Mbaruk, the devolved unit was struggling financially occasioned by the revenue allocation formula. 

“The five-generation formula that dictates what each county is supposed to get, does not favour Mombasa, we can’t be compared to a rural county in the services they provide, and that is why we are suffering,” Mbaruk said. 

Yesterday, Mombasa County acting health executive Godfrey Nato pleaded with the medics to return to work saying they should consider the lives of the poor resident’s dependent on public facilities for treatment. 

In Nakuru county, services continued normally as patients flocked the hospitals seeking services.

County Health Executive Kariuki Gichuki noted that they had addressed all concerns by the healthcare workers who have resumed work.  

In Vihiga county, the medics have been given less than 48 hours to report back to work or face the sack.  The County Health Executive Amos Kutwa has said all medics on strike should resume duties with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, governors are slowly yielding to pressure from the clinical officers after it emerged that they have written to the National Treasury seeking funds to settle the financial demands from the medics.

After a two-three hour meeting which ended in disarray early yesterday morning, the clinical officers marched to Delta House in Westlands, the head offices of the CoG to express their frustrations.

Thereafter, as the medics resorted to marching to the CoG head office to table their frustration, the source said the Governors turned to the Treasury demanding money. —Reports by Harrison Kivisu, Roy Lumbe,  Enock Amukhale and George Kebaso

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