CS Kagwe Announces Crackdown Against Hospitals Detaining Bodies

  • Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe
  • Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday, September 28, announced a crackdown against hospitals detaining patients and bodies over unpaid bills. 

    Kagwe said most private hospitals have proved that they are in practice to make money but not to promote good health for Kenyans. 

    The Health CS noted that exaggerated hospital bills have complicated the war against terminal diseases in the country. 

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
    File

    “We are going to regulate the amount you can charge. Trust us on that. It is no longer tenable. A family is bereaved and you are there holding on to the body demanding millions of money so as to allow them burial rights, it is not acceptable,” he stated. 

    Kagwe noted that hospitals must release bodies as soon as possible for burial. 

    “It is criminal to hold on to them for longer than necessary and the government will start cracking the whip on all aspects of illegalities being exhibited by health practitioners in the country,” the CS added. 

    Mutahi has called for help from the National Assembly and the Senate to push through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) bill that is before the house. 

    The proposed law will boost the fight against corruption that is associated with the fund as it targets restructuring so as to seal all the loopholes that make it difficult for people especially the poor to access health care. 

    Kagwe questioned how an X-ray in a public hospital would cost less than Ksh600, but goes up to Ksh16,000 in a private hospital, wondering what formulae were used to increase the cost more than 25 times. 

    The CS added that Kenya’s curve against the pandemic had gone down and is following a predictable pattern where the country is currently experiencing a below ten per cent positivity rate. 

    “But we are not out of the woods yet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) demands that we be below 5 per cent for at least 14 successive days so as to be rated as relatively safe from the coronavirus,” he noted.  

    Kagwe added that the government was anticipating that by October 20, there will be at least 5.8 million Kenyans will be fully vaccinated. 

    Mutahi Kagwe adressing the media
    CS Health addressing the giving a press briefing
    criminal corruption illegal fight