Speaker Muturi directs House team to probe patient referrals to India

Speaker Justin Muturi orders a House team to scrutinise the frequent referral of patients to hospitals in India.

Wednesday March 9 2016

The National Assembly in session.  FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The National Assembly in session. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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The Health Committee was Tuesday directed to scrutinise the frequent referral of patients to hospitals in India after the National Assembly received a petition to investigate a group of hospitals.

Speaker Justin Muturi directed the committee to look into the matter in the petition by a Mr Brian Onyango, a former employee of Medanta Africare Hospital.

Mr Onyango alleged that the hospital has been hiring and firing medical experts at a high rate, has been colluding to fleece the National Hospital Insurance Fund and has been involved in the referral of patients to India unnecessarily.

The petition was backed by MPs, who said too many patients are being referred to India even in cases where treatment is available locally.

“We have known of cases where people go to India and come back very sick,” said Daniel Maanzo (Makueni, Wiper).

Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen said he was aware of cases where hospitals ask a patient’s relatives to donate blood and later sell it.

John Mbadi (Suba, ODM) said the issues were much more widespread.

TEACHING MEDICINE

“I’m worried and I think may touch not just the health profession but the Committee on Education. We are nowadays getting many doctors. Universities' training in medicine need to be checked so that it is established they are teaching medicine right,” he added.

Seme MP James Nyikal said there is a serious problem with referrals of patients abroad.

“Organisations have come that don’t have a medical background that are in the business of medical transfers abroad,” he added.

Health Committee chairman Rachel Nyamai said it is true there is a lot of malpractice in healthcare in Kenya.

She said she was aware of cases where medical professionals make referrals to help each other and a network of institutions that refer patients to one another.

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