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Patients turn to private hospitals for specialized treatment as the doctors’ strike enter day six

Patients seeking specialized medication at Narok County Referral Hospital have been forced to seek the much needed treatment in private hospitals after the doctors downed their tools a week ago.

A spot-check by KNA shows the number of patients seeking treatment in private hospitals has swollen as the doctors have kept off public hospitals.

However, there are those who could not afford to pay for the private hospitals, and choose to be attended by nurses and clinical officers at the public hospitals, as others who sought for specialized medicine returned to their homes unattended.

According to an internal memo dated March 18, 2024, released by the hospital’s Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Imbusi, specialist clinics would remain closed until further notice.

The memo read that only emergency cases were being admitted in the wards and that no referral cases from other health facilities were being accepted at the Narok County Referral Hospital.

The public was also notified that patients requiring elective theatre procedures which included gynecology/obstetric, Ear Nose & Throat (ENT), general and orthopedic surgery would not be admitted in any hospital in the county.

According to Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah, the ongoing nationwide strike will go on until the Ministry of Health adheres to their demands, which include posting of medical interns to various hospitals in the country and adherence to the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), among other demands.

However, talks between the union officials and the Ministry of Health are ongoing with a hope of coming up with an amicable solution as soon as possible.

By Ann Salaton and Timothy Tobiko

 

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