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In disguise, Governor Njuki finds out a few truths about Chuka Referral Hospital

EASTERN
By Phares Mutembei | October 22nd 2021

Governor Muthomi Njuki at the Chuka Referral Hospital. [Courtesy]

On a normal day, the Chuka Referral Hospital is a busy place with patients streaming in from different parts of Tharaka Nithi County.

The facility had a special visitor on Thursday in the person of Governor Muthomi Njuki.

Njuki, on a normal working day, would be accompanied by his security detail and aides but arrived he alone, disguised as an old man.

None of the people in the compound would have given any thought, or spared a second glance at the old man in a hat, supporting himself on a walking stick.

Walking in measured steps, Njuki had pulled his hat low over his eyes peeping from beneath it, as he made his way from one section of the hospital to the other.

He was not ailing, nor was he visiting a patient.

He had only one mission: To check how the staff manning the hospital were rendering service, and to spend time with patients to listen to their needs.

 While he was impressed with service delivery in some departments he was not too happy about how patients were being handled at others.

Governor Muthomi Njuki spotted at Chuka Referral Hospital. [Courtesy]

One of the shocking incidents he witnessed was the agony of old patients who had the misfortune of mistreatment by younger patients, working in cahoots with hospital staff.

“There were patients that had come at 11.00 am, (especially ageing women) and they were unattended because the systems have been circumvented by young able patients who can negotiate. Even though the hospital management system was working, the queuing system had been switched off to facilitate mischief,” the governor said.

Njuki also had no kind words or kudos to pass to the staff manning the outpatient and Customer Care sections.

 “Hygiene, both in the Out-patient, Customer Care and order was completely ignored. If you are not strong enough to queue, people just keep on jumping ahead of you,” Njuki said.

But as Njuki noted all these, he also took time to get a feeling of the services, first-hand.

“It took me 30 minutes to get my vitals like blood pressure taken,” he said.

 His visit lasted two hours, within which he had a good idea of how the hospital operates on a day to day basis.

 “I spent two hours before they realised," he said, Friday.

It was not only after he was done inspecting the facility that he relaxed his guard, and eventually, he shed off the hat to reveal himself, to the astonishment of both patients and staff.

“I am sure they (services) will improve,” Njuki told The Standard

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