Kenya lacks capacity to offer medical emergency services – Union

Kenya does not have the capacity to offer ICU services
Kenya does not have the capacity to offer ICU services

Kenya does not have the capacity to offer adequate emergency and intensive medical care to her citizens, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) Secretary General Dr Ouma Oluga has said.

His sentiments came days after a patient, Alex Madaga, succumbed to injuries sustained in a road accident after spending up to 18 hours in an ambulance at the Kenyatta National Hospital awaiting admission into the intensive care unit.

Speaking to Power Breakfast on Tuesday Morning, Dr Ouma noted that the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which is the country’s largest and most equipped referral hospital, has only 26 beds to cater to millions of Kenyans.

He also stated that hospitals that are meant to support KNH, such as Mama Lucy Referral Hospital in Nairobi’s Eastlands area, lie dormant as they lack facilities and experts to help patients.

“Kenyatta National Hospital is not to blame in Madaga’s case, the problem is that the country lacks the capacity to provide emergency ICU services,” said Dr Ouma.

He questioned the decision to invest billions in equipment that is meant to assist patients but invest little to nothing on experts who are meant to operate the equipment.

On Monday, Cord leader Raila Odinga instructed his lawyers to sue four hospitals for allegedly refusing to admit Madaga after he failed to raise a Sh200,000 deposit.

The Kikuyu Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, Coptic Hospital and the German Medical Centre will face lawsuits for alleged negligence leading to the death of Madaga.

This comes weeks after the only radiology machine at the Kenyatta National was reported to be down for maintenance.

While refuting claims that the machine had broken down, KNH’s CEO, Lily Koros, admitted that there is a problem as far as meeting the treatment needs of the hundreds of cancer patients who flock the facility.

Patients have narrated heartbreaking tales of being forced to wait for four months for cancer treatment at the facility due to long queues.

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Story By Lisa Kamau
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