Taskforce: Low quality healthcare in Nairobi due to poor funding
Low financing and poor sanitation are undermining the provision of quality healthcare to Nairobi residents.
Dr Githinji Gitahi (pictured), chair of the Task Force that was set up by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to review and propose reforms in the county’s health sector, also blamed the health challenges affecting Nairobians to the confusion over the Kenya National Hospital’s referral status. “These three components have conspired to compromise health matters in Nairobi and this is an issue that should be addressed urgently to improve the health of the residents,” said Gitahi.
Gitahi made the observation during a forum convened by the Task Force to discuss its findings.
Gitahi noted that despite the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) constructing a lot of hospitals in various parts of Nairobi, the county’s health system was still in a mess.
This, he said, is because the facilities still lack equipment and medicine as well as adequate personnel to manage them. “No one is disputing that we have a lot of hospitals but these hospitals are not equipped at all. From our engagements, it has come out clearly that very few if any facility in Nairobi are well equipped to the standard,” he said. Gitahi said this has caused many city residents to flock to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) which has most of the equipment.
He said lack of equipment is what has led to the unclear referral system. “Hospitals like KNH are supposed to handle the big cases but what has emerged is that most of these city residents when they walk in at a nearby dispensary, they are usually told to rush to KNH even for cases that can be handled at the junior level,” he said.
He also urged Nairobi residents to take up medical insurance covers.