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Striking Migori health staff toss out patients

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Margaret Genevieve, 6, who sustained burns a few days ago waiting for her mother to take her to Royal City Hospital after she was thrown out of Rongo District Hospital on Tuesday by striking worker

Margaret Genevieve, 6, who sustained burns a few days ago waiting for her mother to take her to Royal City Hospital after she was thrown out of Rongo District Hospital on Tuesday by striking worker

A six year old girl who was burnt a few days ago was taken from her Rongo District Hospital bed by striking medics and left at the gate.

Margaret Genevieve’s mother was forced to take the injured girl to Royal Hospital, a private facility in Rongo town.

This was one of the scenes in the three-day-old strike by health workers in Migori county.

Yesterday they defied Governor Okoth Obado’s orders to call off the strike and report to work by 8am.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Obado said all health workers who do not report by then should consider themselves fired.

But yesterday the Star found wards in Migori County Referral Hospital, the biggest facility in the county, closed as medics kept away.

In Rongo District Hospital, medics reacted to Obado’s statement by removing patients from wards and urging others to be discharged.

Workers are demanding promotions, payment of salary arrears for doctors hired in May, better working conditions and an end to harassment by county government officers.

But Obado said the demands are not genuine and he will not give in to them as the county does not have money.

“Migori county government has given enough support to the health docket. Unfortunately, I have not seen better services coming out from the investment,” he said.

Obado accused health workers of stealing drugs from hospitals and harassing patients, despite Sh10 million provided for health structural improvement.

Catherine Tingo, a nurses’ union official, refused to say if the strike had been called off.

Health workers told the press union officials held a closed meeting with Obado late into Tuesday night and used social media to call off the strike.

But the medics said they will only call off the strike through their union leaders after the county government gives in to their demands.

 

-www.the-star.co.ke

 

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