10 April 2019

Kenya: Over 60 Patients Detained in Nairobi County Hospitals Over Bills Released

Nairobi — At least 62 patients who had difficulties paying their hospital bills and ended up being detained in Nairobi County health facilities have been released.

This follows Governor Mike Sonko's directive on Sunday during the marking of good deeds day, where he directed his Health Executive to ensure that all patients held in Nairobi County hospitals be released unconditionally.

The County's Health Minister Mohammed Dagane on Wednesday told Capital FM News that they had implemented the directive and waived bills of over Sh1 million, with Mbagathi and Mama Lucy having the highest number of detained patients.

"We discharged and released 38 patients in Mbagathi Hospital and other 24 in Mama Lucy. These cases in both hospitals were primary cases of general treatment and other surgical procedures. Basically, the bills are adding to more than Sh1 million," said Dagane.

Mama Lucy Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Musa Mohammed and Mbagathi Superintendent Dr Joseph Karani confirmed the release of the patients.

Mary Nyamaki a mother of two, from deep sea slums had stayed in Mbagathi hospital for one month and two weeks. "I used to ask myself who will pay for me this bill, but I thank God for the governor fore waiving my bill," she said.

Another patient David Mutunga from Mathare said it's one month since he got treated at Mama Lucy Hospital and had recovered but he couldn't leave the hospital because of the bills.

Mutunga had a bill of Sh180,330.

Sonko's move comes days after the Ministry of Health also directed the release of 250 patients who had been detained at the Kenyatta National Hospital over unpaid bills.

The KNH management acknowledged there had been a public discussion on the topic of discharge of patients from hospitals and the financial strain in several hospitals nationally.

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