Patients seeking treatment at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital have been angered by a requirement that they bring own plates from home if they are to be served food.
The absence of utensils at the region’s largest referral hospital means that critically ill patients cannot get meal servings until their relatives come to their aid.
County assembly members have now raised concern that this new development means patients are being subjected to further suffering.
They now want the county Health executive to explain how the hospital reached a decision that patients must bring plates from home.
Nyakoe MCA John Amisi, who brought the matter to the attention of the county assembly, said patients are being burdened with unnecessary expenses yet funds had been provided for the same.
He termed as embarrassing the fact that patients have to be denied food due to lack of utensils at the referral hospital.
“This is a matter of grave concern that should be addressed with the urgency it deserves,” Mr Amisi told Speaker David Kombo.
He said the Health docket takes up huge amounts of money and as such patients should not be asked to buy plates.
“As the assembly we are alive to the fact that enough money is provided to our health facilities. How it ends that they don’t have plates to serve patients with food is distressing,” said Mr Amisi.
The new development has led to a booming plate selling business outside the hospital.
On Wednesday, the Nation team found patients buying plates, cups and spoons from traders who had pitched tent outside the hospital.
Some lamented that their patients have at some point been denied food due to lack of plates.
Ms Esther Ongori said her ailing grandmother was forced to go without a meal when she was brought in on Friday as she had not come with a plate.
“We had arrived in the ward an hour to lunch but because we did not have a plate, she was skipped. She was only served supper after we purchased a plate,” she said.
She said each patient is also required to have a spoon and cup for breakfast servings.
“Without a cup there is no breakfast serving for you,” added Ongori.
Mr Thomas Ongau said he was forced to beg for money from passers-by to buy a plate for his son, who was injured in a motorbike accident, to be served lunch.
“We did not have any money left after we had processed his admission to the facility and by the time he was put in the ward we did not have money to afford even a plate,” he told the Nation.
He said all the hospital provides a bed.
“We don’t even get medicine, everything is about money here,” he said.
He said caterers at the hospital quickly move on once they realise that a patient does not have a plate.
Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital boss, Dr Enock Ondari, told the Nation that he was not in a position to give comment on the issue.
“Kindly check up with the Health Executive (Ms Saraha Omache) for a response on the matter,” he said.
Ms Omache said she was away on leave and could not comment on the matter.
A visit to Ogembo and Nyamache sub-county hospitals also revealed a similar scenario with patients being told to buy plates, cups and spoons.