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Doctors’ strike leaves patients stranded in Kenya

nly one patient was left in this ward at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital as health workers downed their tools on December 10, 2013. The hospital administration released all patients in the wards as the strike got underway.

Only one patient was left in this ward at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital as health workers downed their tools on December 10, 2013. The hospital administration released all patients in the wards as the strike got underway.

Patients were on Monday stranded in key hospitals in several counties due to the nation-wide doctors’ strike that began on Monday.

Public hospitals such as Mbagathi in Nairobi and major health facilities in Nakuru, Laikpia, Kisumu, Kakamega, Migori, and Bomet Counties are among those affected.

The Kenyatta National Hospital was Monday overwhelmed when patients from other hospitals affected by the strike flooded the facility seeking medical attention.

The doctors are blaming the government for failing to anchor devolution of health services in the law.

“The law requires that there be legislation to guide devolution process in a proper manner, we are currently using laws that are so outdated,” said the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union secretary general Dr Sultani Matendechere.

Hospitals in Nakuru, Laikpia, Kisumu, Kakamega, Migori, Bomet are among those affected.

The officials said unless the government reversed the transfer of salaries and emoluments to the county governments, it should prepare for a historic industrial unrest that it will live to remember.

The Kenya Medical and Practitioners and Dentist Union secretary general in charge of South Rift Dr Samuel Oroko and the Kenya National Union of Nurses officials from Nakuru branch Mr Julius Nyambaka said that they will not mind the  county governments handling facilities and other equipment in the health sector but were opposed to their salaries and other benefits being shifted to the county level.

“Devolvement of the sector to the county level will promote nepotism and tribalism as those in power will go for their relatives and kinsmen at the expense of other Kenyans”, he said.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) secretary-general Sultani Matendechere had announced that the strike would begin by Monday midnight  in all public hospitals.

-Nation

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