Kenya: National Assembly Adopts Report Barring Public Hospitals From Charging for PPEs

1 December 2020

Nairobi — The National Assembly has adopted a report barring public hospitals from charging the cost of Personal Protective Equipment on any Kenyan citizen admitted in their facilities due to COVID-19.

The report by the Health Committee directed the Ministry of Health to within fourteen days review the status of all Personal Protective Equipments held by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) for distribution to hospitals.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had last month stated that COVID-19 patients will have to foot medical bills from their pockets because the national insurer could no longer meet the cost in public and private hospitals.

"Within fourteen days of the House adopting this report, the Ministry of Health reviews the status of all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) held by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) with a view to distributing the same to all public hospitals guided by the respective COVID-19 caseload, for use frontline medical staff in public hospitals," the report states.

"That, thereafter, all public hospitals should not charge any Kenyan citizen admitted in their facilities due to COVID-19 the cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used while undergoing treatment," it added.

According to the Ministry of Health, it costs Sh21,359 to treat an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient in a government hospital a day and Sh21,361 for a patient with mild symptoms.

Patients with severe cases are charged Sh24,705 a day while those who require Intensive Care Unit services are charged Sh 51,684 daily.

The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) which Kagwe chairs had last month ordered KEMSA to release PPEs and masks in their warehouses because they were acquired at exorbitant prices only for the market cost to drop months later.

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