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Waititu’s “Nyaunyo” now unleashed on private hospitals, chemists.

A file photo of the entrance to Thika Level 5 Hospital. If Governor Waititu's idea will become law, no private health facility will be licenced to operate within half kilometre radius of this facility.

The dust in the fight against illicit brews has barely settled and Kiambu County has unleashed its cleanup campaign, this time on the health sector.

Governor Ferdinand Waititu has now said that his administration is preparing a bill to be tabled in the county assembly that will make it mandatory for all privately-owned chemists, labs and hospitals be located at least 500 metres from public hospitals.

While speaking at the county headquarters in Kiambu on Wednesday, the governor accused owners of these chemists and labs of colluding with unscrupulous officers in public hospital facilities to steal and cripple these facilities to create business for themselves.

He admitted receiving numerous complaints from members of the public who accused the many chemists, labs, clinics and hospitals situated near these public hospitals for lack of good services at the public institutions.

“We want anybody putting up a private medical outlet, be it a pharmacy, clinic, laboratory or hospital, to come to the county government for a licence so we may know who they are, where they come from, how they want to do business and in whose premises the business will be put up,” Waititu said.

“Some of our doctors have become greedy as they steal hospital equipment and drugs so that they can send patients to the private labs, which are mostly owned by them,” he added. 

If this initiative becomes law, it will mean that no health facility will be licenced to operate within a radius of half a kilometre from the public hospitals.

In Thika for instance, all those chemists and labs located along General Kago Road in Mukiriti market and opposite St Patricks Catholic Church must close shop. It is not clear what might happen to hospitals such as Vineyard Hospital (Kwa Dr. Wachira) and Dr. Maina’s Hospital opposite U-Shop which fall within that radius.

According to this law, the nearest private health facility should be around the Post Office area in the CBD or towards Mount Kenya University.

A survey within a radius of 100 metres from Thika, Gatundu and Kiambu Level 5 hospitals, as well as outside level 4 hospitals and public dispensaries within Kiambu County reveal that these chemists, labs, clinics and private hospitals are enjoying some booming business.

Most public hospitals never keep stock of the most essential drugs forcing patients to buy these drugs from the ever mushrooming chemists outside these hospitals. After prescription, some patients are instructed or advised by the staff to buy these drugs from certain chemists or specific private pharmacies which raises eyebrows.

Some residents also claim that patients are forced to seek medical services in the private facilities as the public hospitals are ill-equipped.

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