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Nairobi Women’s Hospital found guilty of malpractice

The doctors regulator has found Nairobi Women’s Hospital guilty of operating outside the ethics of good clinical practice.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) said the hospital’s management admitted that messages that leaked from a WhatsApp group were authentic.

OVERCHARGING

The Disciplinary and Ethics Committee investigating claims against the facility said there was failure by the hospital’s management to direct, manage or correct the nature of the communication and language used in the leaked WhatsApp messages.

The council says that there were instances where decisions made by medical officers were overruled by clinical officers and nurses, who were part of the management team at the hospital.

“However, upon hearing the parties, it was clear that the business approach for the hospital should align with the ethics of good clinical practice, more so as relates to operational decisions taking precedence over physician autonomy,” the council said.

The messages show that the revenue, commissions, admissions and discharge were being monitored hourly, every day and day and night by Dr Felix Wanjala, the hospital’s chief executive officer.

However, the council noted there was no evidence of overcharging or that fees charged by the facility was above the recommended rates.

SUSPENSION

The hospital has been given three months to ensure compliance with the staffing requirements in all its facilities as provided in Schedule One of Councils’ Health Institutions Rules of 2016.

While making oral submissions to the committee, Dr Wanjala said a reading of the WhatsApp messages by a third party or a layperson could have an interpretation which could cause “public outcry.”

He stated that as the CEO, he took personal responsibility of the contents of the messages and added that some of the messages were taken out of context.

The investigations by the councils comes after the Nation ran an exposé detailing the extent to which the management was going to optimise profits, sometimes making inpatients stay longer than necessary to accumulate higher bills.

Following this, US-based private equity firm that owns the Nairobi Women’s Hospital has taken over the running of the facility after Dr Wanjala, stepped aside.

Meanwhile, the National Hospital Insurance Fund says that it is likely to suspend the hospital from their claim roll.