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CLEANING UP HEALTH

196 hospitals closed since May after fresh re-inspection

A report from the ministry shows to date, 1,210 public and private hospitals have been inspected and 129 downgraded.

In Summary

•So far, 26 quacks have been arrested and disciplinary action taken against 42 health care workers.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki hands over certificate of excellence to Francis Kilema from Damu-sasa during the Quality Health care awards on July 3, 2019
Health CS Sicily Kariuki hands over certificate of excellence to Francis Kilema from Damu-sasa during the Quality Health care awards on July 3, 2019
Image: MADALINE SAYA

The Health Ministry has closed 196 hospitals since a fresh re inspection order was issued on May 7.

The directive was issued by CS Sicily Kariuki after a seven-month-old baby died at Shalom hospital and another incident filmed at the same facility of a woman giving birth unattended.

A report from the ministry shows to date, 1,210 public and private hospitals have been inspected and 129 downgraded.

 

The operation is being carried out by a team comprised of officials from regulatory councils and boards from the ministry.

So far, 26 quacks have been arrested and disciplinary action taken against 42 health care workers.

Seventeen facilities have been upgraded by the officials.

The operation is not meant to infuse fear. The government has made a commitment to quality, not just to make UHC a reality, but institute systematic changes,” Kariuki said.

The list of those closed, downgraded and upgraded however remains unknown as the 100 days Rapid Results Initiative timeframe nears the end.

The RRI is targeting quality of services, the status of infrastructure, qualification of services, among other markers of excellent health care service delivery.

I wish to emphasise that this exercise will be conducted regularly across the country and random inspections will be frequent.”

 

A recent report by Lancet indicated that 52,000 patients died in Kenya in 2016 as a result of poor health care systems.

The report which was released in April showed that 32,000 of those deaths were due to lack of access and 20,000 due to poor quality of health care.

The study also indicated that the average waiting time is 49 minutes in primary care facilities in Nairobi.

Poor quality of health services is a challenge for any health system in countries at all income levels while high-quality health systems globally have a great impact in averting deaths such as preventing one million new-born deaths and 900,000 deaths from Tuberculosis amongst others,” Kariuki noted.

Another joint report by the WHO and the World Bank released last year indicated that 15 per cent of hospital expenditure in high-income countries is due to medical errors or patients acquiring other infections while in hospitals.

The situation is worst in low and middle-income countries where 10 per cent of hospitalised patients can expect to acquire an infection during their stay.

This is despite hospital-acquired infections being easily avoided through better hygiene, improved infection control practices and appropriate use of antimicrobials.

The report further notes that inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities and providers who lack adequate training and expertise prevail in all countries.

Improvement in health care delivery requires a deliberate focus on the quality of health services, which involves providing effective, safe, people-centred care that is timely, equitable, integrated and efficient.”

Kariuki acknowledged that optimal health care cannot be delivered by simply ensuring the coexistence of infrastructure, medical supplies, and health care providers.