Embu hospital boss suspended following demonstrations
Beleaguered Embu Level Five Hospital CEO, Dr. Moses Njue, has finally been suspended indefinitely following a series of demonstrations by the hospital medics who accused him of assaulting a doctor last week and high handedness.
The move to suspend the CEO was arrived at after a two hour meeting chaired by the Embu County Secretary, Jason Njeru, the Health County executive, Dr. Jamleck Mutiri and County Public Service board chairman, Peterson Muthathai who later communicated the decision at a press conference.
Dr. Njue, a pathologist who is facing several criminal charges, some related to theft of body organs, is said to have slapped a consultant obstetrician, Dr. Mary Wairimu Njoroge, following an argument over alleged lateness.
The assault sparked off demonstrations and work stoppages by the rest of the staff.
The series of demonstrations by the medics paralysed services at the referral hospital, with workers demanding for the sacking of the CEO.
The doctors, clinical officers, nurses, laboratory technicians and other cadres picketed at the CEO’s office, blowing whistles and demanding that he leaves the hospital.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses Branch Secretary, Joseph Ngwasi said they would not continue working under Dr. Njue and would resume work only when he hands in his resignation letter.
Ngwasi said they regretted abandoning their patients to demonstrate over a problem that should have been resolved administratively.
He said doctors are trained to be ethical while dispensing their duties and they would not allow anyone to go against the profession’s ethics.
The Hospital Consultants’ forum chairman, Renson Gitari said the victim had suffered severe post-traumatic stress in addition to the physical harm suffered as a result of the slap.
The medics condemned the assault as primitive and contrary to rights of workers and urged the government to take action against such people.
Njoroge, a consultant obstetrician/gynecologist claims that Dr. Njue struck her on the face on Thursday in front of patients at the outpatient section of the hospital.
She has since recorded a statement with the police and also written to the Embu County Secretary and Health Chief Officer demanding for action to be taken against Dr. Njue.
She claims the CEO used “aggressive words” on her in presence of patients and other medics, which embarrassed and traumatized her.
“I was arriving to attend to patients at the Gynecology outpatient clinic, Dr. Njue in the presence of patients and other officers in the hospital was both verbally and physically aggressive towards me and struck my face. The result of which was both traumatic and embarrassing to me, affecting my ability to perform my duties effectively,” she says.
However, Dr. Njue, a former Chief Government Pathologist, denied the allegations and has accused Dr. Njoroge of malice.
He claimed that doctors are fighting him for introducing stern measures to stop habitual lateness and abdication of duty.
He explained the hospital has a new clocking system where everyone signs in, but the doctors had vowed not abide by it.
The CEO said that on the material day, Dr. Njoroge, together with most of the doctors arrived past 10:30am, while many patients were already at the facility some having arrived at 6.00 am.
He said Dr. Njoroge was the last to come at around 11am and he asked her to explain.
The CEO further challenged the complainant to produce evidence that he had actually assaulted her.
By William Kamau/Steve Gatheru