KNH to release 250 detained patients

KNH says it will set free detained patients

KNH to release detained patients

Kenyatta National Hospital announced that it will discharge 250 patients detained over unpaid bills.

The hospital revealed that it will be setting the patients free on Tuesday afternoon after public outcry.

A statement to newsrooms stated: "The Board of Management of Kenyatta National Hospital has taken a decision to release 250 patients."

Waive hospital bills

This comes at a time when two Members of Parliament tabled motions to have the government compel public hospitals to forfeit all bills accrued during treatment when one dies.

Nyali MP Mohamed Ali proposed a motion to have the hospital bills waived while his Nyando counterpart Jared Okelo proposed an amendment to the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, to have the bills forfeited and also outlaw detention of patients.

Detention of patients and bodies is a common practice in both private and public hospitals. 

Poorest of the society

A study published by Chatham House’s Centre on Global Health Security in the UK once ranked Kenya among the most notorious countries in detaining patients unable to settle medical bills.

It noted that victims tend to be the poorest members of society, who have been admitted to hospital for emergency treatment and many of them were subject to verbal or physical abuse during detention.

Despite wide condemnation by human rights agencies and global healthcare policy makers, hospitals have continued to hold patients long after they’ve been discharged by doctors.

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