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Govt warns hospitals on demanding cash upfront from Covid-19 patients

The government has warned health facilities against demanding huge payments before admitting patients.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman speaking on Tuesday termed this move ‘unethical’.

He observed the number of Covid-19 related admissions at private and public health facilities had shot up, but asked hospitals not to take advantage of that by demanding huge upfront payments before admitting patients to the Intensive Care Unite (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU).

“We want to remind our healthcare providers, both private and public that we are in a pandemic, and this being the case, it is not the time to punish our people through some self-seeking money-minting opportunistic escapades,” said Aman

“It is unethical and not acceptable and I want to make a passionate appeal to our health facilities to soul search on this issue and know that history will judge them harshly for the wrong choices they make during this pandemic.”

“The responsibility of medical facilities and health care workers is to save lives. It is not to profiteer from ailing and poor Kenyans. This mentality of putting money ahead of our people’s lives must stop. That is where other countries like India beat us,” he said.

Aman also warned hospitals from holding or hoarding oxygen cylinders and further noted the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases have necessitated the high demand for oxygen by patients in government facilities.

“Those facilities that are holding or maybe even hoarding gas cylinders are strongly advised to surrender them immediately to points of refill and redistribution,” he said.

Kenya recorded 1,127 new Covid-19 cases from a sample size of 5,393 on Tuesday representing a positivity rate of 20.8 percent.