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Lobby wants Coast general hospital entrance reopened to public
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|Lobby wants Coast general hospital entrance reopened to public by Kenyans247(1): Tue 27, October, 2020 01:30pm|
A lobby group has filed a petition seeking to compel the Mombasa county government and the management of Coast Provincial General Hospital to open to the public the main entrance to the facility.
The health facility’s main entrance was closed to the public in March to curb the spread of Covid-19 as the facility was one of the main treatment and isolation centres for the virus and patients.
But the Commission for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ) wants the directive to be reversed, claiming that the closure of the facility was causing untold suffering to the public who depend on it for healthcare services.
Through its executive director Julius Ogogoh, the lobby says the decision to close the main entrance to the facility was unilaterally made by its management and that such actions are now inconveniencing people, especially the disabled, who are unable to access the hospital through other available entrances.
Mr Ogogoh argues that the entrance was arbitrarily and unilaterally closed without the involvement of the stakeholders and persons to be affected by the said decision and action.
“The entrance to the hospital has remained closed and or locked since then to the detriment and inconvenience of the users and persons seeking services therein,” said the petitioner.
In the petition filed at Mombasa High Court, the lobby wants the court to compel the facility’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Iqbal Khandwalla, and its board of management to reopen the main entrance and put Covid-19 safety measures at all relevant points of entry to the hospital.
Commission and omission
The petitioner laments that the county's and management's acts of commission and omission are a violation of the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of the persons with disability as guaranteed in law.
“The only entry left open to the public is the emergency entrance, which is small and has caused congestion and has been in violation of the Covid-9 containment measures. It is only fair and just that the said entrance be opened to the public as the county will suffer no prejudice,” Mr Ogogoh says.
The petitioner said he filed the case after receiving complaints from the public that they could not access the facility as the main entrance was closed.
The petitioner said he has been receiving complaints from the public since September 10.
Those who allegedly recorded the complaints with the lobby group have filed affidavits to support the petition.
“The said complaints have been demonstrated by affidavits of some members of the public who are persons living with disability and who can no longer access the health facility with ease,” said Mr Ogogoh.
The management has, however, been unresponsive to demand letters directed to its officials on the need to open the entrance to the public to ease access and movement in and out of the hospital and to eliminate overcrowding at the emergency entrance.
“The respondents, unless compelled by orders of this court, will continue violating and infringing on basic rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed and protected in the constitution,” said the petitioner.
Mr Raphael Odieny, who is disabled, said in an affidavit that he struggled to get into the hospital sometimes in August after finding the main entrance to the facility closed.
He claims that after inquiring how he would access the hospital, he was directed to the emergency gate and, upon reaching there, endured congestion as the place was overcrowded.
“I struggled to reach the said emergency gate. Owing to the situation, I was not able to access the hospital and services so I returned home without treatment,” said Mr Odieny.
Mr John Mkuzi has also filed an affidavit echoing Mr Odieny's statement that he had to leave the facility without treatment due to inaccessibility and congestion at the emergency entry.
The two complain that the closure of the facility’s main entrance amounts to a denial of their rights as envisaged in the constitution and want the situation remedied.
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