By Irungu Mwangi – Kna Kerugoya
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has given the Kerugoya Referral Hospital a clean bill of health almost three weeks after it banned admissions into the facility due to its deplorable condition.
However, after an intensive inspection of the hospital, the board said it had been satisfied that all the areas it pointed out as wanting at the time were now operationally viable.
The Board’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Daniel Yumbya, while addressing the media after carrying out the inspection urged area residents to revert to the use of the facility.
But even as the Board was positive on the cleanliness, County Union Health Workers defied a court order and took to the streets claiming their grievances had not been addressed.
Led by the Central Regional Secretary for the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union Dr Gor Goody, the medics held a peaceful demonstration through the streets of Kerugoya town insisting they would remain on strike until their cries were heard.
“We are only hearing about a court order blocking us from going on strike but neither our National nor Regional office has been served with the said order, “said Goody.
The orders were issued at the Employments and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi by Justice Maurine Onyango on May 24 where the court declared the Industrial action was illegal until the matter was heard and determined interparty.
The Union official issued the seven-day strike notice to the County Administration on May 20 hence the street protests.
The Board however distanced itself from the strike with Yumbya saying he was not even aware of the said court order.
Accompanied by the Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri, Yumbya said he would not wish his Board to be dragged into the domestic issues the county and its employees were faced with.
“Ours was to inspect and make a verdict on the state of the cleanliness as you have been clearly briefed by our Head of Inspectorate and Compliance Department Dr Andrew Were that all what we had faulted on April 25 , has been rectified and everything is now back to normal,”Yumbya told the Media.
A tour of the hospital revealed that just a handful of patients could be seen trickling to the hospital while inpatients were still admitted within the Wards.
The outcome of the inter-parte hearing was not available at the time of going to press while area residents were disappointed by the striking medics.
The medics on strike were those who are members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union, the Kenya National Union of Nurses, the Kenya National Union of Clinical Officers and the Kenya Union of Medical Laboratory Officers.
Following the strike, Ndambiri has urged the medics to soften their position and stand with the people of the county as their grievances were being addressed and resume their duties.
Kirinyaga county commissioner Jim Njoka said police will be deployed to the health faculty to make sure those who wish to go back to work continue with their duty without fear or intimidation
This is the first time the Board had intervened over the filthy condition of the hospital It is also the first time the strike had taken a legal dimension
Locals want the stalemate resolved urgently to end their suffering
By Irungu Mwangi – Kna Kerugoya