Governors blame medics for public hospitals crisis

By: MOSES ODHIAMBO

Governors have refused to take blame for the pain and suffering in county hospitals, saying the problem is not with the health system.

Instead, the governors blamed doctors for the rising cases of negligence reported in various hospitals.

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma on Monday said doctors found culpable of negligence should bear the responsibility.

Mr Ranguma, who is the Council of Governors’ Health Committee chairman, said they would meet this Wednesday to discuss the reports.

He noted that the fact that few doctors were leaving patients unattended did not mean the entire health system had failed because of devolution.

The governor said they would come up with a way forward on the fate of doctors who found guilty of negligence.

“When we discover the mistake was from an individual’s act of neglect, then heads must roll. As governors, we have put a lot of resources to the health sector already and would not wish to see people dying because of carelessness on the side of the medics,” Mr Ranguma said.

He urged patients not to pay for charges that have not been sanctioned by the county governments.

“Let whatever is chargeable within the service charter be factored in the official receipts of the hospital then the patients billed. We do not want to hear of cases where people are asked to pay for things like fuel,” Mr Ranguma said.

DRUG-SHORTAGE

The council will also discuss licensing of hospitals, he said.

“We have been shocked to find veterinary doctors operating facilities where they treat human beings. These are the issues that we must now deal with head on and we ask the concerned authorities to support us in this course,” he said.

The governor spoke even as public hospitals have been on the spot for offering poor services.

Recently, a woman in labour died after she was allegedly abandoned at the Kakamega County Hospital, claims that the authorities have denied.

In Busia and Vihiga counties, it has been reported that patients suffer due to lack of equipment and drugs in local hospitals.

Patients in Busia now travel 160 kilometres to Eldoret for x-ray as the Mbale District Hospital is on its “deathbed”.

In Vihiga, the county referral hospital has been hit by a shortage of drugs and staff shortage. Patients in Busia said the hospital lacks essential drugs such as anti-rabies, snake venom and other medical equipment.

Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga has set up a seven-member team to deal with the challenges in the county referral hospital.

Health workers’ strikes have also affected services in the hospitals.

On Tuesday last week, health workers in Tharaka-Nithi public hospitals went on strike over delayed October salaries and patients had to be transferred to other counties.

On Monday last week, Kiambu District Hospital was on the spot after an expectant mother died there in a suspected case of negligence.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION