Uhuru shares story of old man he met at Mombasa hospital [Video]

President Kenyatta recalled his interaction with the old man who had racked up a bill of Sh800,000

President Uhuru Kenyatta during his tour of Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital

President Uhuru Kenyatta met an old man from Lamu County who had travelled to the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mombasa County, for heart surgery.

The old man whose name was withheld was recovering in the hospital after racking up a bill of slightly over Sh800,000.

Recounting his interaction with the patient, President Kenyatta said he had been impressed that the Coast resident did not need to travel abroad for treatment because it would have been much more expensive.

The head of state also said that the old man would not struggle to settle the hefty Sh800,000 bill because he was enrolled under the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

"During my tour of the hospital I met an old man from Lamu who is recovering after going through a heart surgery which has been paid by the NHIF so he is only waiting to be discharged to go on with his life," President Kenyatta said.

He also called upon Kenyans to register with NHIF to prevent chances of being impoverished by expensive healthcare.

"This is what we need so that Kenyans won't have to sell their land, business, car, house and other properties in order to take loved ones to hospital. That is why we are asking you to get an NHIF card because you will be able to enter a hospital and get treated for free because you have a government that cares for your wellbeing," President Kenyatta added.

The head of state also unveiled a state-of-the-art regional cancer centre at the Level IV hospital.

The ultra-modern facility, developed through a partnership between the national government and the county government of Mombasa, is part of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and boasts of high-tech equipment to offer comprehensive cancer care.

The centre will cater to cancer patients in the region and beyond, and is the second public facility of its type in Kenya after the one at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.

Speaking after commissioning the cancer centre, President Kenyatta lauded the partnership between the national government and county governments in the delivery of health services to Kenyans.

This hospital is now able to provide services because we sat together with the governor who offered the land for us, as the national government, to put up the infrastructure and install modern equipment.

We are doing all this to ensure wananchi have unfettered access to quality health services. We are doing these things not only in Mombasa but across the country,” President Kenyatta said.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the commissioning of the specialised cancer centre is part of the actualisation of the President’s UHC vision of ensuring Kenyans have access to excellent standards of health at affordable costs.

We thank you because it is very easy to take things for granted, it is easy to assume that any other leadership would have brought similar developments. But without good leadership there would be no development,” CS Kagwe said.

He pointed out that next month a similar cancer facility will be opened in Nakuru followed by Garissa, Kisumu and Nyeri counties.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho praised the cooperation between the national and the county government, saying he had nurtured the vision of establishing a cancer centre for long but was only able to realise it when President Kenyatta’s leadership started working closely with the opposition.

Whoever is criticising our cooperation with you (President Kenyatta) does not have the interests of Kenyans at heart. A lot of the developments we have achieved in my second term have been as a result of our working together with the national Government,” Governor Joho said.

The Governor added that for the first time in Mombasa’s history, a large number of patients from private hospitals are seeking treatment at the public hospital.

Your Excellency, I want to confirm that we are overwhelmed by the referrals that come to us from private hospitals. Your Excellency, I also want to confirm that we are overwhelmed by the kind of support we are getting from professionals, consultants and doctors from the private sector who want to practice here,” Joho stated.

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