Misfortunes never come singly, and no one knows this better than kitui General Hospital, which has gotten its fair share of bad press this year. The hospital is in crisis.
Report shows that the hospital is currently suffering from ineffective patient-nurse ratio, lack of critical supplies and equipment, dilapidated structures, unsafe overcrowding and inadequate sanitation, among many other problems. Patients are being referred to private hospitals as a result of mismanagement by top management.
The hospital have been incapacitated by acute understaffing, negligence, corruption, theft and impunity.
The hospital has fallen out of favour with the public, with a serious battering on both mainstream media and social media. Report reveals that the private referral hospitals does not accept NHIF cards. Neither does they accept any other form of insurance.
The National health insurance fund (NHIF) was launched to reduce out-of-pocket costs and and enable citizens access to affordable universal health care. So far so good majority of Kenyans have been registered with the exercise. In order to achieve the provision of quality care, there needs to be equity, rather than equality. Universal health coverage means that those left behind are brought to the same level as those who can afford to pay for health services.
Controversially, the public health system of Kitui general hospital has been accused of embezzling funds and neglecting public needs. Residents of Kitui County accused the management for transferring patients to private hospitals while still there’re equipments in the hospital. This private hospitals area usually too expensive and unaffordable.
Raising more money for healthcare through the NHIF doesn’t guarantee that health outcomes will improve. The real problem is the administration of that service. The present ‘lack of accountability” for the management of County medical facilities is a ‘huge problem”in Kitui general hospital.
Some of this private referral hospital are owned by the top management staff and other cartels within the hospital. An unbridled greed by some healthcare providers and a blissful ignorance by purchasers have conspired to ensure that patients do not only buy more drugs than they need but also pay for them expensively, in some cases twice times the normal prices.
This is the sad story of kitui broken healthcare market. The county government of Kitui is but a silent bystander….. Walking into a hospital to seek treatment is like getting into a supermarket not knowing the items you need. Not only will the store manager decide the items you need and their prices, he is also the one that will pocket the money…
So you helplessly watch as he drops item after item into the trolley. Before long, your shopping bag is brimming with all kinds of items. You have a gut feeling that you will not need some of the items. Moreover, some of the items are just too lavish for your liking. But what do you know when you have no expertise too rule out what you are being offered as it might decide your chances of survival…?
Because doctors have so much information than the patient, the healthcare market in Kitui County has failed terribly with one party to the transaction enjoying immense advantage over.
It is very important that when you come to a health facility, there is a qualified and knowledgeable health worker who is able to treat you without negligence and has the means to refer patients to higher public facilities if necessary; and has the right equipment.
The human resource problem can only be solved if the county government coordinates with the Ministry of Health to ensure better provision of quality health care for all residents of Kitui County.