Homa Bay health workers: MCAs interfere with health services

Homa Bay County KNUN Secretary Omondi Nyonje, KUCO Executive Secretary Philip Mbom and KUCO chairman Stephen Obunga. [James Omoro, Standard]

Health workers’ unions in Homa Bay have accused Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) of interfering with health services at the County Referral Hospital.

The County Assembly recently adopted a report that the acting Chief Executive Officer of the hospital Peter Ogolla be removed to pave way for the reinstatement of the former CEO Dr Lilian Kocholla who was recently shown the door.

Dr Kocholla was sent on compulsory leave because of alleged poor management which had put the hospital in a deplorable state.

This made MCAs through the Health Committee conduct investigations which revealed the hospital lacked many essential drugs including panadol.

Instead, the MCAs blamed the health executive Prof Richard Muga for the problems in the hospital, before they impeached him a few days later.

But the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) accused the MCAs of interfering with the service delivery at the facility.

The county KNUN Secretary Omondi Nyonje, KUCO Executive Secretary Philip Mbom and KUCO chairman Stephen Obunga said changes in the management of the hospital should not be altered again.

“It is true that there has been an issue of poor management at the hospital and that is why patients were forced to buy many essential items including gloves for medics to attend to them,” Nyonje said.

He, however, noted that the new management should be given time“ to enable Dr Ogolla to apply all his skills of correcting anomalies which were caused by the previous management.”  

Mbom argued that the recommendation by the MCAs to reinstate Dr Kocholla is tantamount to interfering with the provision of health services at the hospital.

“The change of management was made to correct weaknesses which impeded the proper provision of health services in the hospital. Any attempts to defeat the changes mean impending delivery of health services to Homa Bay residents,” Mbom said.

Obunga said health is a sensitive department that should be handled keenly. “We urge MCAs to handle health department with utmost care because any mistake by management of a health facility can cause loss of lives.”

The County Assembly Health Committee chairperson Joan Ogada said their aim was to improve service delivery in the hospital.

“The staff at the hospital should forge a spirit of teamwork and unity to ensure quality health service delivery to Homa Bay residents,” Ms Ogada said when she tabled the investigative report in the Assembly. 

The fate of Prof Muga now lies in hands of Governor Cyprian Awiti who can decide to sack or retain him in his executive committee.