More than 500 senior doctors in Kenya’s biggest referral hospital have boycotted work, demanding the reinstatement of their colleague who was suspended for performing brain surgery on the wrong patient.
Sammy Oroko, the chairman of the doctors’ union, said suspending the Kenyatta National Hospital neurosurgeon was a knee jerk reaction which will not solve the underlying problems at the hospital.
Three other staff – the ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist – were also suspended.
The union wants an overhaul of the hospital operations; including digitisation of the hospital’s booking systems and setting up more theatres.
Mr Oroko defended the boycott saying this was the opportunity to re-examine the entire system at the Kenyatta Hospital.
The doctors are also demanding outstanding allowances for senior doctors, which they say have not been paid as agreed with the state last year.
It emerged last week that a neurosurgeon had performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.
The hospital has denied reports the patient had since died.
Only last year Kenyan doctors countrywide went on strike for more than three months, demanding better working conditions and pay.
Paralysing operations in Kenya’s largest public hospital may have a knock-on effect on other hospitals countrywide and risk putting lives in danger.
Records show that the hospital receives more than 3,000 patients a day.