Hundreds of Kenyan doctors are protesting the suspension a colleague who is being accused of performing brain surgery on a wrong patient.

A neurosurgeon and medical team at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi reportedly opened the wrong patient`s skull last month to remove a blood clot after two patient’s tags were mixed up.

Doctors on strike

As a result, hospital officials suspended the neurosurgeon as well as two nurses and an anesthetist, a decision that has ignited uproar from fellow doctors who say their colleagues should not be punished for the hospital’s failures.

On Monday, hundreds of doctors refused to work until the hospital addresses underlying procedural problems, such as issues with the hospital’s booking system, as well as issues with staff shortages and inadequate equipment and operating space.

Chief executive of the Kenyan Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, Ouma Oluga backed the suspended health workers saying the workers are usually overwhelmed with the number of patients they are supposed to attend to.

“These are quality system issues that should not be leveled at staff. You find one doctor could be doing 10 to 19 operations [per day],” he recently told local reporters.

The incident comes weeks after the country’s health minister called for an investigation into social media claims that new mothers had been sexually assaulted by male staff members in the newborn unit at the hospital.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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