NHIF, KURA & Prisons Department Accused of Stifling KNH

  • Patients recuperating at Kenyatta National Hospital The Star
  • Three government agencies have been accused of stifling operations of Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Kenya’s biggest referral hospital with unpaid dues.

    According to KNH's annual report and financial statement, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) owed the hospital about Ksh800 million.

    Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) reportedly owed the hospital more than Ksh4.2 billion, while the Prisons Department also owed the facility close to Ksh200 million.

    Besides the money owed to the hospital, the Auditor General recently reported that KNH lost over Ksh370 million to NHIF in underpayment, especially, for maternity services.

    A Nairobi hospital New Born maternity ward

    “KNH receives complicated maternity referral cases. As a result, the costs are higher, yet the reimbursable of Ksh17,500 per delivery has remained the same,” the Auditor General stated.

    The hospital indicated that 45 per cent of admissions related to reproductive health, with patients keen on reaping maximum benefits of the free maternity programme.

    On the other hand, KURA is believed to have acquired land belonging to KNH for the construction of Hospital Road and Mbagathi Way Link Road but was yet to pay the hospital for the same. The construction is already ongoing.

    Meanwhile, patients’ poor perception of local public dispensaries, health centres and sub-county facilities have led to the crisis of congestion, shortage of drugs and understaffing bedevilling Nairobi hospitals.

    According to Dr Peter Mogoi, in charge of Kayole sub-county hospital, patients who self-refered themselves to major hospitals such as KNH, Mbagathi, Pumwani and Mama Lucy have led to congestion in the referral hospitals, thus affecting service delivery.

    Mogoi stated that most people in the city had a perception that could only get the best treatment at KNH.

    Patients in a ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital

    Furthermore, he noted that for the negative perception to change, county governments needed to improve and equip the facilities and increase staff numbers to ease the shortage.

    “Supply of drugs is erratic at times. We need specialists in small hospitals so as to decongest our referral hospitals,” he explained.