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Senate team differ over Laikipia health crisis

Tuesday July 2 2019

measles immunisation

A health worker registers a child after administering measles immunisation at Ewasu Dispensary in Laikipia County in 2016. The county is facing a shortage of doctors after the governor sent 61 doctors home. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JAMES MURIMI
By JAMES MURIMI
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Members of the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday clashed over the Health crisis in Laikipia County as Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentist Union pushed for the establishment of a Health Service Commission.

The committee, which inspected service delivery at several hospitals in the county, differed as Governor Ndiritu Muriithi maintained that his decision to sack 61 doctors did not make the crisis worse.

Michael Mbito, the committee chairman, got a backlash from some members of his team after he told the media that they were satisfied with provision of service at the hospitals.

Mr Mbito said they discussed with Mr Muriithi’s administration on how to quell the stalemate.

" We have established that work is going on and we have discussed various ways on how to help each other," the Trans Nzoia Senator said.

But addressing the same press briefing, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua said there was dismal population of patients in the wards, indicating that normal operations in the county hospitals had not resumed.

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Mr Kinyua attributed the crisis to the recent sacking of medics by Laikipia county boss, adding that operations had been paralysed in many facilities.

"I would be lying to the public if I said operations at the hospitals are going on effectively.

Our observation is that doctors were sacked and we need their replacement," Mr Kinyua said.

Senator Kinyua continued: "It is an open secret that some of the wards in our facilities don't have patients".

His Wajir counterpart Ali Abdullahi said the move by the governor will further cripple the healthcare sector in the county and appealed on all stakeholders to embrace dialogue.

KPMDU Chairman Samuel Okoro accused governors of mismanaging the health sector by not embracing dialogue with medics.

"Some governors are too drunk with power and too proud to negotiate with health workers.

"County governments are mismanaging healthcare and we are pushing for formation of a Health Service Commission to manage human resource issues of doctors and all health workers," Dr Okoro said.

The Health crisis in the county has sparked division between ward reps and Mr Muriithi.