- The 100 students will be the first cohort to access KUTRRH facilities.
- VC Wainaina said the university should be allowed to own the hospital but PS Inyangala said the fact that both institutions belong to the government is enough.
The Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital is set to take in Kenyatta University school of medicine students for education purposes, but with a limited access to only 100 students.
This was agreed upon after Higher Education PS Beatrice Inyangala held a consultative meeting with stakeholders of KUTRRH on Monday at the hospital to discuss KU School of Medicine students' training in the facility.
"Kenyatta University has about 800 students taking various medical courses, and 100 have been approved to access KUTRRH, but it doesn't mean that this number is static. It just means that the rotations are organised such that at any one point, not more than 100 students are accessing the facility for education purposes," Inyangala said.
Among the stakeholders present at the consultative forum were KUTRRH chairperson Olive Mugenda, Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina and KUTRRH CEO Ahmed Dagane.
The 100 students will be the first cohort to access KUTRRH facilities.
According to Dagane, the Level 6 facility is all set for the students in relation to the procedures outlined by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council to undertake patient-side teaching.
As part of the reception protocols, KUTRRH, Dagane said, had already shared a letter with Kenyatta University, outlining a detailed two-day orientation process and programme commencing Monday, October 16, for the students and their supervisors.
“The on boarding protocols have been outlined and shared with Kenyatta University to facilitate entry of the first 100 School of Medicine and Surgery Undergraduate students. We look forward to welcoming the students and their supervisors on Monday,” Dagane said.
Despite the agreement, the Kenyattta university medical students are saying the access is too limited considering they are very many.
"We need unfettered access to the hospital, we should not be limited that we have a specific number accessing the hospital. We are so many. We have so many students who are in dire need of exposure of research, training and innovation,"Kenyattta University Student’s Association President Teddy Odhiambo said.
Kenya University Students Association Secretary general Thiongo Muiruri said,"It has been a long battle since we began fighting for the access and ownership rights of the hospital. It has been more than six months and even though we are happy with ruling, we want unfettered accesses into the facility."
Muiruri said they cannot be given a chance and then hospital says that only 100 students will be allowed to access the facility for education purposes.
"We as student leaders oppose this ruling because one class of the medical students exceeds 100 students. How are we then going to choose who should go and who should not? What we mean by unfettered access is that all students be allowed in unrestrictedly," Muiruri said.
However, the battle for the control of the hospital continues.
VC Wainaina said the university should be allowed to own the hospital but PS Inyangala said the fact that both institutions belong to the government is enough.
The KUTRH board is chaired by academician Prof Mugenda.
She is regarded as the heart of the hospital. She oversaw construction while working as vice chancellor of KU between 2006 and 2016.
The university management argues that establishment of the hospital as a state corporation negated the original objective of its establishment.
“The hospital was established as a laboratory-experiential learning centre for medical education and research for Kenyatta University students,” Prof Wainaina said.
The university states that on the strength of owning the teaching hospital, it had attracted and entered into collaboration agreements with top universities in the world with the understanding that KU would own and manage the hospital.
However, since reverting the hospital to a parastatal, these plans have seriously been interfered with as the hospital board came up with parallel projects and programmes.
With the accreditation, students from KU will join others from other institutions like JKUAT, University of Nairobi, USIU-A, AMREF University, Egerton University, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, National Defense University, Nairobi Women’s College, and Mama Ngina University to further their skills at KUTRRH.
KUTRRH is a National Referral Hospital with a 650-bed capacity equipped to offer specialised oncology, trauma and orthopaedics, renal, accident and emergency services.
It also owns the KUTRRH Training Institute of Specialised Nursing which celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of specialised nurses last June.
TISN was accredited by the Nursing Council of Kenya in 2021 and is recognised by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority as a tertiary institution.