Nairobi News

News

Another shocker as private hospitals increase charges

Vital health services will now cost more as private hospitals increase their charges.

The hospitals have blamed the increase on the new VAT law, which has inflated the prices of medical products and equipment.

Hospitals whose charges have increased by at least 10 per cent since the new VAT law took effect include MP Shah, Avenue, Aga Khan, Nairobi, Gertrude’s Garden, Guru Nanak and Karen.

The law removed exemptions on medical items, effectively raising prices by at least the 16 per cent levy.

The cost of medical equipment such as X-ray machines and laboratory chemicals shot up by more than 20 per cent.

Now hospitals are passing on the additional cost to patients — and their insurers.

Ms Etta Ligale, general manager at Avenue Healthcare announced they would increase their out-patient and laboratory charges.

“The increase is minimal and we have maintained the same rates for the new Kisumu Hospital and Regional County clinics,” the letter read in part.

The hospital has six clinics in Nairobi and one in Ongata Rongai, where it will now cost Sh6,000 a day for a general ward bed, while the maternity package will cost Sh100,000 for a normal delivery.

In a letter dated September 2013 to Jubilee Insurance boss Patrick Tumbo, Nairobi Hospital said it had been forced to increase some prices.

The hospital’s chief executive, Cleopa Mailu, said: “In view of the unrelenting cost increases in commodity prices and other services, we find ourselves compelled to marginally increase the price of some of our products and services.”

The hospital charges Sh8,100 a day for a bed, while normal maternity charge is now Sh98,000.

The rising cost of electricity has also affected hospital charges. Rates for big domestic consumers rose in December by more than 30 per cent.

In its review of tariffs, Kenya Power increased the rate for consumers of more than 200 Kwh by a minimum of Sh3.52 a unit.