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Homa Bay: Crisis as patients discharged from health facilities

Vacant beds in one of the wards at Homa Bay County Referrral Hospital on May 19, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

Pressure is mounting on Homa Bay County government to address the health crisis that has marred the sector after public facilities discharged patients prematurely.

All public health facilities in the county have been shut down due to a workers’ strike after nurses, clinical officers, doctors and laboratory technicians downed their tools last week due to delayed April pay.

Union of Kenya Civil Servants chairman, Tom Akech, expressed concerns over delayed salaries and issued the county government with a strike notice that's expired.

“If the county fails to pay us by Friday, we will down our tools. We will camp and conduct salary parades at Governor Cyprian Awiti’s office,” Mr Akech said.

Meanwhile, desperate patients have been left to suffer due to lack of health services. Wards at the Homa Bay County Referral hospital were left empty after patients were told to leave.

Hospital CEO Peter Ogola said they had no option but to discharge the patients prematurely due to lack of medical personnel.

“We cannot keep patients in the hospital if there are no health workers to attend to them. The situation has forced us to discharge them to seek medication elsewhere,” Ogola said.

The CEO said the hospital is only offering emergency services which are provided by medics employed by the Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF).

“Only emergency cases are handled in our hospital courtesy of MSF personnel,” Dr Ogola said.

Patients have called on the county government to come to their aid, even as Health Executive Richard Muga said the county was working on ways to resolve the strike.