Critically ill patients left unattended in Mombasa hospital as doctors’ strike bites

Tuesday December 6 2016

Patients remain unattended at the Coast General

Patients remain unattended at the Coast General Provincial Hospital on December 6, 2016 on the second day of the doctors' strike. It is a total shut down at the Port Reitz District Hospital with only two critically ill patients left in the wards. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By REBECCA OKWANY
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By WINNIE ATIENO
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It is a total shut down of health services at the Port Reitz District Hospital and its psychiatric section as the strike by health worker enters the second day.

The hospital is the second largest in Mombasa County.

All the patients have been handed over to their relatives, save for two who are critically ill.

And in the psychiatric wards, only six were remaining by 8am Tuesday, but their relatives were directed to pick them up by 12pm.

At the Coast General Provincial Hospital, consultant doctors who are attending to patients are overwhelmed.

This is the largest hospital in the Coast region.

At around 8am Tuesday, the Nation witnessed an apparently frustrated consultant raise his hands in despair at the reception, saying that he would go home because he could not do the rounds in wards without nurses.

Later in the morning, two wards were closed while babies in the nurseries were being monitored by nurses hired by the county while post-natal and antenatal sections were closed.

NO SPECIALISTS

A staff member told the Nation that the hospital has stopped admitting patients because there are no specialists to attend to them.

Some consultants could be seen conducting outpatient services.

Only some outpatient, laboratory and X-ray services were being offered.

Midwives also assisted women who did not require caesarean section to deliver.

But early in the morning, there were no staff members to attend to visitors.

There were only the cleaning staff who could be seen along the corridors with hawk-eyed guards manning entrances to the wards.

"There are no doctors and we are not allowing anyone in. You had better call your patient and take her to a private hospital,’’ a security guard told a woman who had gone to visit one of the few expectant women who were still in the wards.

CLEANERS AT WORK

Cleaners at the referral hospital took advantage of the absence of the usual congestion to do a thorough cleaning of the institution.

Donning gumboots and gloves they opened up drainages, cleaned windows, swept pavements and other areas which are normally occupied by people visiting the hospital either to be treated or to see their loved ones admitted there.

Mombasa County Health Executive Mohammed Abdi visited the hospital at about 9.30am and said they are reviewing the strike situation at the county’s hospitals after and they would give a comprehensive report focusing on services they may be unable to provide.

The striking doctors were expected to converge outside the hospital later Tuesday morning.

At the King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu, there were no doctors in sight and doors remained closed.

While nurses were present, they appeared lost because there were no patients, at least by 9am.