Medical board clears Kerugoya hospital but workers insist on strike

Wednesday May 29 2019

Dr Daniel Yumbya (C), Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Board, tours Kerugoya Referral Hospital in Kirinyaga County with other officials on May 29, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Board has given Kerugoya Referral Hospital a clean bill of health despite medics' insistence that it remains in a poor state so their strike will not end.

The strike followed a call by four unions - the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union; Kenya National Union of Nurses; Kenya National Union of Clinical Officers; and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers.

When the notice was issued last Wednesday, the health workers said the their action was inevitable and that they would not retreat since Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru had not met their demands.

Days later, Ms Waiguru stopped the remittance of dues to the KMPPDU, accusing it of sabotage and alleging political interference.


After a tour of the hospital on Wednesday, the medical board's chief executive officer declared that health workers at Kerugoya could resume the admission of patients.


Addressing journalists accompanied by board members, Dr Daniel Yumbya said he was satisfied with operations and that there was no cause for alarm.

"The county government has complied with our recommendations. The hospital is now in a good condition," he said, adding it had been cleaned and repairs carried out in most departments.

The CEO urged workers and politicians to cooperate with the government for smooth operations at Kerugoya and other health facilities.

He declined to comment on the strike saying he went to the hospital to announce the board's findings.

On claims of an acute shortage of doctors and nurses at the hospital, Dr Yumbya noted that the employment of workers is a continuous process.


Dr Andrew Were, the board's head of inspections and compliance, said Kerugoya had started delivering quality services.

"Medical equipment is in order and the hospital is fully operational," he said, but patients complained of the lack of staff to prescribe medicine following the strike.

County Commissioner Jim Njoka pleaded with the medics to return to work, saying the hospital was in good shape.

"Those who want to resume duty are free to do so. I assure them that they will not be victimised," he said.

Mr Njoka further asked leaders to give the devolved government time to serve patients in dire need of quality health services.

Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri accused some leaders of politicising matters affecting the health sector for selfish gain.

"Politicians are inciting the workers yet there is no problem at the hospital. This is politics," he said.