Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o has ordered investigations into why Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital failed to admit a patient with an ectopic pregnancy early this week forcing her family to transfer her to a private facility.
The Governor ordered the probe on Thursday after the Nation carried the story of the patient who was denied medical attention on Monday after developing stomach complications.
The patient had to seek a surgical operation at Port Florence Community Hospital because doctors in public hospitals are on strike.
Speaking to the Nation earlier, the hospital's CEO, Dr Peter Okoth, defended it, saying doctors are unavailable due to the strike so nobody can be admitted.
"This is something above me. It is difficult and we are constrained. We can handle casualties but we can't admit them since the doctors are on strike," he said in an interview.
But Governor Nyong'o said the hospital has always had a team of doctors to handle emergencies despite the strike now on its 31st day.
"I know that despite the strike, we should be having doctors at the facilities to handle emergencies. I would like to know why this particular patient was not attended to," he said.
Earlier, the governor held an emergency meeting with members of the County Health Management Team and ordered them to help end the on-going doctor's strike.
He told the county health management team, "I want you to find out why doctors are still on strike when we have addressed most of their grievances. Why are they not in hospitals?"
Kisumu's doctors have refused to resume duty until the county pays their salaries and effects promotions.
Dr Kevin Osuri, Nyanza region chair of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), said doctors should be paid arrears dating back to July 2019.
"We honored an invite by Kisumu to find a way forward and end our strike. The employer insisted that we call off the strike, which we are keen on doing provided they meet our demands," he said.
But Governor Nyong'o asked the doctors to stop the blame game and resume work as their grievances are addressed. He said the strike was unfortunate and uncalled for.
As a long term solution to human resource issues the county's health sector, Prof Nyongó asked the management team to develop standard procedures on promotion of staff based on performance.
"We must have a system for rewarding and promoting our workers. You cannot promote staff en masse. Those seeking promotions must be deserving. This is why we must take performance contracts seriously," he said.
He also directed the team to regularly meet with staff in hospitals to motivate and keep them informed on prevailing matters in the county.
"Sometimes, workers go on strike because of lack of information so we must correct this," the governor said.
He added that Kisumu County Health Bill, 2019, which he approved, is awaiting gazettement and is expected to drastically transform the health sector.
The proposed law, Prof Nyong'o said, contains a detailed roadmap and policies needed to improve management of health facilities.
He also said a team sent to all health facilities to document staff challenges wrote a detailed report which will guide a radical surgery on service delivery and their welfare.