New management takes over operations at St Mary’s Hospital Nairobi

Friday December 29 2017

St. Mary's Mission Hospital, Nairobi new CEO

St. Mary's Mission Hospital, Nairobi new CEO Gabriel Njue addressing journalists on December 29, 2017. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SILAS APOLLO
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The new management at St Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi took over operations at the institution Friday even as it faced accusations of harassment and sacking of staff.

Operations at the private facility had by Friday morning resumed with doctors and nurses attending to patients a day after chaos broke out at the institution over the change of guard.

But some of the staff accused the new management headed by the Assumption of Sisters of Nairobi of victimisation after a number of their colleagues were ejected on Thursday due to their opposition to changes at the facility.

DOCTORS

Most of the positions were also re-advertised even as the incoming management said it was willing to allow the staff back at work.

A doctors’ union official claimed that at least three doctors and a three-month-old baby, were injured during the fracas.

According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union secretary-general Ouma Olunga, one of the injured doctors suffered a strained knee. The evictions took place at the staff quarters, said Dr Olunga.

“As a union, we are concerned about the affairs in the hospital and the management must take responsibility,” said the unionist.

The hospital’s chief executive officer Gabriel Njue, however, dismissed the allegations, saying that those who left the facility, did so voluntarily.

Dr Njue said some of the staff who had vacated the health facility had been asked to re-apply for their positions and would be re-absorbed “once their qualification has been ascertained.”

VIGIL

“The new management took over on Thursday morning and settled in well. By Thursday 9pm, we had attended to about 900 patients. Those in the ward were equally attended to,” he said.

Officials of the Assumption of Nurses who had been accused of harassing and evicting the staff, however, stayed away from the institution. Police officers kept vigil at the facility in an anticipation of a possible confrontation with the agitated staff.

Dr Njue said that about 10 doctors and 46 nurses were part of the staff who had reported on duty and were serving patients.

Services at the hospital were on Thursday disrupted for hours after chaos broke out after auctioneers and police officers, acting on a court order, moved into the institution to take over management.

The Sisters – who are trustees of the land on which the hospital stands – went to court to seek legal redress after Father William Fryda, who founded the hospital in the 1950s, declined to hand over the management of the hospitals in Nairobi and Nakuru to them in 2010.

They claimed that the hospitals were their brainchild and that Father Fryda had only come in as a medical doctor.