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Review health policy, CEC urges

Dr. Joan  Mwende (right next to patients) during a tour at the Embu Level Five Hospital to assess its status as it receives influx of patients from Kirinyaga County. With her is Health Chief Officer, Ms. Grace Karimi and Daniel Mugendi, CEO in charge of the Hospital. Photo by KNA.

The  Embu County Executive Committee Member in charge of Health, Dr. Joan Mwende has urged the government to review health policy to address influx of patients from one county to another during strikes.

Dr. Mwende said the policy is crucial to address the overstretching of some counties which are receiving patients from striking counties.

The CEC  was on a tour at Embu Level Five Hospital on Tuesday  to check on status of the hospital which is overstretched by influx of patients who are coming for health services from neighbouring Kirinyaga County.

“We are receiving many patients from our neighbour Kirinyaga County due to the ongoing health staff strike and our facility is now overstretched,” Dr. Mwende observed.

Dr. Mwende  recommended resource sharing especially in terms of drugs in order to cater for the influx of patients into the other counties for health services.

The  CEC said the hospital with a capacity of 700 beds is overstretched and already there are about 1, 000 patients who are admitted where some are sharing beds.

She said the county is doing its best to ensure the wananchi receive health services they are seeking for adding that they cannot restrict them from visiting the health facility.

Dr. Mwende appealed to well wishers to come on board and help in the provision of resources to facilitate management of the overwhelming number of patients.

Apart from challenge of diminishing drugs in the hospital, Dr Mwende noted that the hospital is going short of food stuff to cater for the patients being admitted.

“The money allocated to the hospital is for the people of Embu and therefore the influx of patients from Kirinyaga has constrained our budget and resources in general,” she added.

“‘We need to have policy change that when one county goes on strike and the patients move to the neighbouring county to seek health services, then the two counties will be in position to share resources like, drugs, food and maybe clothes,” she noted.

She appealed the county government of Kirinyaga to move with speed and negotiate with the striking health staffs to normalise health services in the county.

Health  staff from Kirinyaga County has been on strike for over three months now forcing the patients from the County to seek medical treatment in neighbouring counties.

By  Kimani  Tirus

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