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Patients From Neighbouring Counties To Pay More In Kiambu Hospitals. – Kabogo.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo cuts the tape to officially commission the  New ultra modern ICU/HDU unit at Thika Level 5 Hospital. Looking on is Medical Superintendent Dr. Jacob Andrew Toro (right in white coat) Kiambu health C.E.C Dr. Jonah Manjari Mwangi (left, partly hidden in black suit).

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo Gitau has suggested plans to introduce higher charges for patients from other counties visiting their health facilities. He also suggested having an ‘outside Kiambu’ ambulance charges for ambulances bringing patients to their facilities from neighbouring counties.

He has petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to sanction the neighbouring governors to give Kiambu County drugs to cover for the shortage that they are experiencing as a result of people from other counties benefiting from them.

“One of the most difficult things in the last few weeks has been to deal with the influx of patients from Nairobi, Machakos and Murang’a to a point where we have almost overworked our medical workers. I feel that it is time we introduced an outside Kiambu ambulance charges of say sh. 10,000 per ambulance so that their governors can be reminded that it is not so easy to bring patients here for treatment. We are spending about sh. 40 million monthly on the drugs we are administering to Kiambu residents. But if you look at the last few weeks, the patients coming into Kiambu hospitals has grown from 800 to about 1500 daily majority of whom coming from these neighbouring counties,” said Kabogo.

He added that they were introducing the ‘Digitika Card’, a cashless card whose one of the fields will demand patients to fill in their home address. Towards this end, the county was hoping to have a varied charges for patients from other counties so that they may use the extra fees charged to ‘foreigners’ to improve their facilities.

Acknowledging the great strides Thika Level 5 Hospital has taken since its inception in 1941, the governor appreciated the efforts taken by its management and staff under the current medical superintendent Dr. Jacob Andrew Toro, despite the various challenges.

He said that appreciated the fact that the county would use Thika Level 5 Hospital as a training centre for all their health facilities.

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In partnership with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Thika Level 5 Hospital will soon start piloting cashless services where patients will be able to top up their cards at the KCB shops within this hospital. This will help reduce the queues at the facility and also ensure that all moneys collected are well accounted for.

The Kiambu C.E.O. reckoned that his vision was to, within the next five years, steer the health services in the county to the next level. He added that plans were underway to put up amenity wards and facilities within their existing health institutions to cater for those who wished to have private and personalised treatment.

Kabogo said that his government was focused to making Kiambu the real health destination, not only in Kenya but also in Africa and the whole world at large. Towards this end, plans were underway to put up a new Renal Hospital in Ruiru where patients will benefit from kidney transplants in partnership with several universities in the US and the UK.

“We are hoping to put together some funding through the annuity programme so that that hospital will be complete probably in the next 18 months.”

He added that his government was also in the process of putting up new level 4 hospitals each with a capacity 200 beds in Tigoni, Thogoto, Wangige and Lari.

He said that they were also working on a masterplan to promote primary health care within the county so that they could limit the number of people admitted in hospitals especially in the active ages of between the ages of 18 and 35. In this way, the health facilities would be more active in preventing and controlling diseases at their initial stages or before they struck.

He acknowledged the contribution of his health ministry and the County Executive Committee (C.E.C) member Dr. Jonah Manjari Mwangi for their efforts in improving the health services in the county.

“If you may ask me, we are not yet there. If I were to rate their services, I would give them 65% which is not really so bad and neither so good. But we can get there and we will give you the necessary support that you need as a ministry.”

He was happy that the county had been able to deal with issues affecting the remuneration of its health workers, taking pride with the fact that Kiambu was the first county to promote its nursing cadre, a process he hoped would be complete by December this year.

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