Monday, August 15, 2022
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HomeYour CountyEmbuEmbu health crisis sparks uproar

Embu health crisis sparks uproar

The poor state of health services in Embu County has sparked uproar among locals and leaders who are demanding that Governor Martin Wambora’s administration should move with speed and address the crisis.

Patients were left in limbo a week ago after health workers in public hospitals across the county went on strike over unfavourable working conditions.

Some of the grievances that pushed the workers to down their tools included failure by the employer to remit statutory deductions to relevant institutions including NHIF, NSSF and banks as well as late payment of salaries.

The facilities are also said to have been hit by an acute shortage of essential drugs forcing patients to buy them in private pharmacies.

Relatives of in-patients were forced to withdraw them from the hospitals and take them to   neighbouring counties of Kirinyaga, Meru and Tharaka Nithi as they had no one to attend to.

Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) have also threatened to down their tools in a move that is expected to worsen patients’ woes.

The workers through their Chair Peter Muiithi said their work had been made more difficult as they have nowhere to refer sick people to after conducting basic first aid and health screening tests.

“We are tired of turning patients away or telling them to go to private hospitals whose cost of treatment is out of reach for the majority of our people,” lamented CHV Mary Gatumu.

They demanded an explanation from the government as to why services were grounded in Embu and running smoothly in the neighbouring counties yet they all depended on funds from the same national government.

Senator Njeru Ndwiga and nominated MP Cecily Mbarire called for quick intervention measures to be taken to alleviate patients’ suffering.

Senator Ndwiga called on the County Assembly to be reconvened quickly and summon the governor with a view to addressing the impasse.

“Let them have a sit down and do whatever must be done even if it means coming up with a supplementary budget to settle the health workers dues so that normalcy is restored in hospitals,” he said.

Ndwiga said it was not adding up how healthcare services had been grounded yet the county had received all dues owed to it this financial year.

Embu Health Worker demonstrating during a past strike early this year. The workers have once again down their tools over unfavorable working conditions.

Ms. Mbarire called on the administration to heed to the cries of the people and have the crisis resolved as fast as possible.

Governor Wambora has in the recent past been involved in a war of words with Ward Representatives after he accused them of diverting healthcare funds to foreign trips.

However, the Ward Reps dismissed his insinuations as mere propaganda meant to escape blame over his ineptness, saying they have no powers to access or manage county funds.




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