Official raises alarm as staff crisis hits hospitals

Mothers waiting in line for their children to be examined at Obama Children's Hospital in Kisumu on January 2, 2014, following the return of medical staff from their long strike. The provision of quality health care at more than 100 public hospitals in the county is under threat due to an acute shortage of medical staff. FILE PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • She said the region requires the nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technicians and pharmacists to fill positions left by those who retired or left for greener pastures.

The provision of quality health care at more than 100 public hospitals in the county is under threat due to an acute shortage of medical staff.

The concern was raised on Saturday by the County Executive for Health, Dr Eunice Siria, who said the region needs 300 new medical workers to address the problem, which she termed “serious”.

She said the region requires the nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technicians and pharmacists to fill positions left by those who retired or left for greener pastures.

The most affected are health centres and dispensaries in the interior parts of the expansive county, she added.

Addressing journalists in Eldoret town, Dr Siria said they had to recall all medical staff on leave as services at public health institutions were about to grind to a halt.

“We recalled them to attend to the overwhelming number of patients seeking treatment at our health facilities,” she added.

She said the shortage has been compounded by the termination of services of health workers who had been hired under the economic stimulus programme.

The more than 70 workers — who included nurses, laboratory technicians and clinical officers — were sent packing by the county government last month after they refused to sign forms for the assessment of their performance.

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