According to a statement by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Major General Mohammed Badi, Kenya’s top referral Hospital Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) will not accept walk-in patients by June 2021, but will only deal with referrals.
The move, Maj. Badi says, is part of measures to decongest the facility, and is as a result of a review by the Ministry of Health and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) on referral policy, which will see the capital, Nairobi be the first to implement this.
“In conjunction with the Ministry of Health, we have been able to produce a policy document on referral system in Kenya. Nairobi County will be used as a guinea pig as the first county to implement this strategy to ensure that KNH becomes a teaching and referral hospital only,” said Maj-Gen Badi on Wednesday.
“We estimate that by July, no walk-in patients will be allowed into Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). We want the facility to only handle teaching and referral cases”, Badi said.
To salvage the crisis that may arise from the move, Major General Badi says the 24 Hospitals that are currently being constructed in Nairobi (under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta), will go a long way in reducing the burden at KNH by handling cases that do not require critical care including Radiology, Dialysis, Cancer treatments among other critical care demanding illnesses.
The above services, he further said, are among those that will warrant one to be absorbed into the Kenyatta National Hospital as a walk-in patient. This means that KNH will (beginning the said date), only serve as a referral hospital.
The NMS boss went ahead to cite an example of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, which currently serves about 2.1 million Kenyans. Even with this capacity, the hospital still contributes a whole 34% of referrals to KNH. Badi says one of NMS’ aims is to bring this down to 1%.
The 24 hospitals will range between Level 2 and Level 5. It has been revealed that Korogocho and Mathare North will have a Level 5 Hospital each. According to Badi, all the 24 hospitals are at 85% completion (infrastructure-wise) and are awaiting the Ministry of Health to hold up its end of the bargain and provide the necessary equipment.
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