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Kisumu: Health worker strike bites

08 March 2012, 11:28 Oduor Omondi

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Victoria Annex Hospital in Kisumu town which is an auxiliary of the New Nyanza General Hospital has been closed down indefinitely owing to the ongoing paramedical strike.
According to Nyanza Provincial Director of Medical Services, Ojwang Lusi, the health facility which serves as the amenity wing of the New Nyanza General hospital has been shut down and all its in-patients discharged or transferred to private hospitals.
Confirming this, Lusi regretted that the ongoing strike by the medical staff has led to a massive disruption of normal health care operations in the region, a situation that has culminated into the closure of one of the hospitals within the city centre.
A spot check by this writer found the facility under key and lock with only watchmen and casual laborers in the compound.
There has been a migration of patients from public to private hospitals with large number of patients seeking in-patient treatment in those facilities as they have been unable to get services due to swelling numbers.
Some of the private hospitals including Jalaram, Ukweli Pastoral Centre, Nightingale and Port Florence are reportedly not admitting any more inpatients due to what administrators have termed as ‘ total congestion within their limited capacities’.
The streets of Kisumu yesterday had a demonstration of a kind as medical staff from the New Nyanza General Hospital and Kisumu District Hospital held a peaceful protest vowing  not to be cowed by a directive by the Minister for Medical Services, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o instructing them to  resume work by 2pm yesterday  or face the sack.
Services in all the public hospitals in most parts of the Nyanza region have remained paralyzed since last Thursday when the nationwide strike commenced.

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