THEY WANTED CASH UPFRONT

MP Shah Hospital fined Sh3 million for woman's death

Asaph was diagnosed with heart complications which required urgent surgery but she was not attended for lack of Sh500,000.

In Summary
  • The hospital is accused of violating the Health Act in the way it handled the deceased.
  • The committee wants the National Hospital Insurance Fund to investigate the hospital for failure to provide emergency services.
MP Shah Hospital in Parklands, Nairobi
MP Shah Hospital in Parklands, Nairobi

The Senate Committee on Health has recommended that MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi be fined Sh3 million for negligence that caused the death of a patient on May 26.

In a report to the House, the committee further wants the Kenya Medical and Dentists Council to separately investigate the conduct of the hospital.

Vice-chair Mary Seneta said the hospital violated the Health Act in the way it handled Virginia Asaph.

“The conduct of the hospital should also be investigated by the National Hospital Insurance Fund for its failure to provide emergency services contrary to their contractual agreement,” Seneta said.

She said the committee established that Asaph was conscious and stable when she went to the hospital as she was able to make an initial payment of Sh9,000 through M-Pesa.

“Treatment was, however, delayed because of financial motives. Every medical attention she received at the hospital was done after confirming payment,” she said.

The nominated senator further said the deceased was a beneficiary of the NHIF Super Cover but did not get treatment on time.

“The case is not isolated. There are thousands of people who lose their lives every year because they do not receive emergency medical services for lack of cash,” she added.

Asaph was diagnosed with heart complications which required urgent surgery but she was not attended to for over two hours as the hospital demanded Sh500,000 deposit upfront.

The hospital refused to attend to the patient from 2am when she was taken there to around 4.27am when treatment started and when the deposit was paid.

The committee investigated the matter following a statement by nominated Senator Beth Mugo, who accused the hospital of negligence.

She said the death could have been prevented had the hospital staff embarked on saving life immediately the patient arrived at the facility.

The committee took witness statements from the deceased’s grandson Samuel Muratha and niece Joan Wangari who gave a blow-by-blow account of their ordeal at the facility.

They detailed their arrival at the facility at about 2am on the night of May 26, the demand for Sh500,000 to cater for Asaph’s admission and urgent surgery.

She was only wheeled to theatre at 7.45am after the family managed to raise and deposit Sh300,000 with the hospital.

Two hours later, the patient died and the family was left with Sh740,000 bill.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja thanked the committee for handling the matter with speed and diligence.

“There are so many such complaints. It is good to note that the family of the deceased had the confidence in the Senate handling the matter,” Sakaja said.

Nominated MP Farhiya Ali said it is painful to lose a family member while hoping they would be saved by doctors.

 

Edited by Henry Makori