NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – Patients across the country are continuing to suffer even as a few doctors resumed work after the riot act was read out to them by President Uhuru Kenyatta two days ago in Naivasha.
A spot check by Capital FM News at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Mbagathi District Hospital revealed that the pace at which patients were attended to was slow and many had to wait for long to get the needed services.
A few who spoke to Capital FM News however expressed relief after being attended to saying the situation was better than before when they received no services at all.
“I have come here to the hospital for a checkup and I have been attended to, the doctors have seen me and so I am grateful at least,” stated Sabina Ochieng.
“I can observe that the situation is not that bad since there are at least doctors in the hospital though they are few. I have been seen but it has taken a while,” Mark Mbuvi stated. “I have been attended to and given medicine and I have been assisted so now there is no problem.”
The patients are now appealing to both the doctors and government to settle their dispute as fast as possible so that services may fully resume in hospitals.
“I would like to request both the doctors’ union officials and the government to sit down and agree among themselves on the contentious issues. We need both doctors and the government,” stated Hilda Emukuru.
“On my part, I would like to urge the government to pay the doctors so that they may all go back to work and continue assisting patients.”
The situation is the same in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri, Embu among other public hospitals contrary to an announcement by the Health Ministry that a large number of doctors were back to work.
Makueni leads with 50 percent of doctors back, followed closely by Nyandarua, Kiambu and Machakos, Lamu and Taita Taveta, according to Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri.
He indicated that “other hospitals where operations have resumed include Mathare Mental Health hospital, Moi Referral Hospital and the Kenyatta National Hospital.”
He stated that services remain uninterrupted in Bomet, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera Samburu and Turkana.
The resumption comes at a time the government has started sacking those who failed to heed President Kenyatta’s directive in drastic measures aimed at ending the three-month strike called by doctors union officials who have turned down the government offer of a 40 per cent pay increase.
In Nyeri, Health County Executive Charles Gethenji said more than 20 doctors are willing to report back to work but fear intimidation from their colleagues.
Counties have begun firing doctors after an ultimatum issued by the national and county governments expired.
In Machakos, Governor Alfred Mutua gave doctors until Thursday to resume duty or be fired.