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KNH crisis deepens with new strike threat.

Consultants hired by Kenyatta National Hospital have threatened to boycott work because they are understaffed.

This comes a day after 700 trainee doctors known as registrars went on strike. They demand reinstatement of the student surgeon suspended because he performed brain surgery on othe wrong patient. They blamed nurses for misidentification.

Addressing the press at KNH yesterday, the consultants said they are not able to cope with emergency cases at the hospital.

'We will be forced to withdraw elective clinics and theatres because we cannot handle patients,' consultant surgeon David Kimani said.

On Monday, registrars from KNH and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital went on strike after their supervisors, who are also lecturers, boycotted work. They are demanding payment of delayed risk allowances factored into their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

'Registrars fear if they continue working and their supervisors are away, when mistakes occur, who will protect them? he asked.

The consultants working at KNH account for only 15 per cent of the workforce. Registers do most of the work. The majority of them are self-sponsored students.

Kimani said Kenya's largest referral facility cannot control resident doctors, as it is not their employer.

'Those doctors do not belong to Kenyatta. We have told the state so many times to look into the relationship between UoN and KNH, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. We want the state to give Kenyatta Hospital cash so students geta small allowance,' he said.

More than 700 trainee doctors said they would not return to work until their supervisors resume work.

Consultants want the hospital and state to fix systemic failures. They cited understaffing, poor funding, old equipment and over-crowding as KNH's main problems.

The facility, Kenya's oldest, has 1,200 beds but currently accommodates 2,400 patients.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Mar 7, 2018
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