The County Government of Mombasa has clarified its directive that stopped Mombasa Cement boss Hasmukh Patel from paying bills for needy patients across public hospitals in the county.
According to a letter addressed to Mombasa Cement by County Executive Committee Member - Health Services Swabah Ahmed Omar, a memo that had banned financial support for the needy in the county and which had been widely circulated was only intended to streamline the haphazard nature in which public facilities have reportedly been approaching some individuals for donations.
“I wish to take this opportunity to firstly and deeply appreciate the assistance we have been receiving from Mombasa Cement not only in clearing hospital bills for patients but also in infrastructure support. Secondly, I wish to clarify that the letter that has been in circulation is in contravention to our stand on corporate donations,” part of the letter reads.
The letter dated May 6, 2023, further clarified that the County Government of Mombasa was ready to work with corporate donors like Mombasa Cement, and any other individuals to help its citizens.
“I’m hopeful that with this clarification that we shall continue to work together for the benefit of the patients that we serve,” Omar stated in the letter.
It had emerged that on April 20, 2023, the County Government of Mombasa, through a memo, ordered a stop to donations and financial support by well-wishers to needy patients across the county.
“This is to bring to your attention that no donation or financial support should be sought or allowed to be given to any of our health facilities. This is a directive from the Executive,” part of the memo which was sent to the County Chief Officer – Medical Services, the County Chief Officer – Public Health, and the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO, reads.
On Friday, May 19, 2023, a lobby group went to court and successfully sought orders seeking to stop the implementation of the county’s directive.
Justice Olga Sewe of the High Court in Mombasa certified the application that sought to quash the county’s directive as urgent and allowed the lobby group to file judicial proceedings to permanently suspend the county’s memo that communicated the decree.
“I am satisfied that the application is warranted. Accordingly, directions are hereby given that the leave be and is hereby granted to the applicant to file a judicial review. The leave thus granted to operate as a stay of implementation of the directive contained in the memo to the heads of the Department of Health dated April 20, 2023,” Sewe said.
However, the Mombasa Cement boss seemed to have been irked by the county’s memo and has remained adamant even after being served with the court orders which allowed his philanthropic activities on Monday, May 22, 2023.
On Thursday, May 25, 2023, a mortuary attendant at the Coast General Referral and Teaching Hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter revealed that the facility was already ‘suffocating’ with dead bodies after Patel stopped bailing needy people.
"Families of the needy patients who die here are now unable to foot their bills unlike in the past when Mombasa Cement took care of the morgue fees.
"Previously we only had around 20 to 30 bodies here but we are currently preserving up to 100 bodies, and the number is continuously increasing,” the morgue attendant told K24 Digital.