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November 20, 2018

Patients throng Gendia Mission Hospital as Homa Bay medics strike

Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome with a doctor at Gendia Mission Hospital yersterday /ROBERT OMOLLO
Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome with a doctor at Gendia Mission Hospital yersterday /ROBERT OMOLLO

Hundreds of Homa Bay residents flocked Gendia Mission Hospital for free medication following a strike by health workers.

There has been a free medical camp at the hospital organised by 70 doctors from the US who operate under the NGO Hands International.

About 1,500 health workers of different cadres in Homa Bay have gone on strike due to the failure by the county government to pay them.

KMPDU, Knun, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and the Kenya Union of Medical Laboratory Officers said there have been delays in payment of salaries.

They also cited non-remittance of statutory deductions, failure to confirm their members on probation, inadequate supplies, and harassment in the line of duty.

The strike enters its third day today. Yesterday, KMPDU executive secretary Ben Otieno said workers had lost patience.

TREASURY DELAYS

He said some of them had been listed under the Credit Reference Bureau for failure to pay their loans due to delayed salaries.

"Failure to remit the deductions made most of us not acquire medical services in various health facilities through health insurance," Otieno said.

Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome said the free medical care will be provided for one week.

"A number of people in the county had been having difficulties seeking medical care due to the strike,” Okuome said.

The target is to treat 200,000 patients by Friday.

Okuome said the medics are using modern equipment and technology in disease diagnosis and treatment.

"There are buses moving around to collect patients from villages to the hospital. We want to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to be assisted medically," he said.

Homa Bay Health executive Richard Muga said the county will address workers’ issues. "There has been delay in releasing funds from the national Treasury," he said.

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