Kitengela Sub County Hospital fenced to stop patients from fleeing with bills

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 20 Sep, 2023 14:10 | 2 mins read
Kitengela Sub County Hospital road signage. PHOTO/
Kitengela Sub County Hospital road signage. PHOTO/

Kitengela Sub County Hospital has been fenced with a perimeter wall following cases of patients fleeing to avoid paying their medical bills amid the introduction of trained officers to guard entry.

The hospital management reported theft of hospital equipment and patients leaving without settling their bills, which they said was becoming a menace.

"Theft of hospital equipment was rampant due to uncontrolled movement. Some rogue persons accessed the hospital freely acting as patients only to elope with equipment. We had incidents where criminals running away entered our wards to avert being arrested and terrorizing patients. Working at night was a nightmare as our medics felt insecure, we had severally to call the police to intervene," Dr Veronica Abuto, Medical Superintendent in charge of Kitengela Sub County Hospital said.

She said drunkards and free-roaming cattle also caused massive confusion at the facility.

"We are so grateful to the county government for the initiative of enhancing security. Our patients are now safer since we have controlled movements," she added.

A new registration system has also been installed to track patients and manage time to avert chaotic queuing marred with confusion that has seen massive complaints and uproar from patients who flood the busy health facility.

According to statistics from the facility, an average of 600 patients seek medical services at the facility on a daily basis.

Maternity services have also recorded a high number of more than 500 women on a monthly basis.

Owing to the high number of women seeking maternal services at the facility, expansion of the maternity wing funded by non-state actors is underway to accommodate the high number of expectant mothers.

Statics indicate that 80 per cent of the women at the facility give birth normally,15 per cent by cesarean section and five per cent are transferred to referral hospitals with ICU units.

Joyful new mothers say the facility services have improved, encouraging more patients to seek assistance in the public facility.

"I am a resident of Isinya and I came to seek maternal services here because I overheard from a friend that this facility has improved its services. I have been blessed with a bouncing baby boy and I am so happy and the services I received are satisfactory," Ann Naliaka, a beneficiary narrated.

Kajiado County Executive Committee Member in charge of health services Alex Kilowua has called on members of the public to embrace public facilities as services have been improved.

Kilowua says since the inception of the new system installed by the national government, revenue collection has hit Ksh10 million per month from the previous average of Ksh1.5 million in the past.

"We are encouraging an open door policy in order to streamline our services. We also encourage patients to report incidents of being mishandled and harassment by rogue medics. The information will be treated in confidence and action will be taken against those involved. We cannot afford to invest heavily in improving medical services and a few rogue personnel harass patients," Kilowua said.

Kilowua further warned public hospital officers against selling hospital drugs and instead asking patients to purchase them from private pharmacies.

He says stringent measures have been put in place to ensure the officers involved are accountable for all drugs supplied in public health facilities.

The hospital serves the populous Kitengela town and neighbouring Mlolongo and Athi-river towns in the neighbouring Machakos County.

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