Only 1,500 private clinics in Nairobi County have the permits to offer medical services, a report shows.
The report by the County Public Health Department reveals that there are 2,315 private clinics, 800 or 34 percent of which are open and offering services to residents illegally.
Ms Jesca Omai, the Nairobi County Clinical Inspection Coordinator, made the revelations before the assembly's Health Services committee last week.
“After a mapping programme carried out in August last year, the department found out that Nairobi has a total of 2,315 private clinics out of which only 1,500 have received inspection certificates over time and have been cleared with the department as having the necessary permits,” said Ms Omai.
The committee chaired by Roysambu Ward Representative Peter Warutere asked Ms Omai to explain why the 800 clinics have been operating since they are not licensed.
She was also asked whether Nairobi residents have been receiving the right treatment from the clinics in the county.
The official noted that the department is not the only one that licenses private clinics.
It works closely with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, the Nursing Council of Kenya and the Clinical Officers Council, which has the legal licensing authority, she said.
Ms Omai explained that for a clinic to be opened in any part of Nairobi, an inspection must be carried out by county officers.
Without this, operations cease, she said, but complained that regulatory boards rarely involve the county administration in routine inspections.
“The department normally receives applications from people who want to start clinics in the capital city but it is not the only body that can license them," she noted.
"We have regulatory bodies which are different. The overall one is the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board. Nursing councils can also license their own people."
Ms Omai told the committee that the department will close down the unlicensed health facilities and increase random inspections and supervision of facilities at all levels.
She said they received a compliance officer from the medical board to enhance checks.
The department said Milan Health International, a private clinic associated with quack doctor James Mugo Ndicho alias Mugo Wa Wairimu, lacked a business permit and a licence from City Hall.
She further said that public health inspection officers were denied entry into the facility during a routine inspections and that when they made another check on the facility’s compliance, they found it closed.
“No licence was given to Milan International and we have never met Mr Mugo in the clinic. The applicant for the permits for the clinic was Elijah Mathiai and the documents presented were for a nurse who was allowed to practice."
Mr Mugo, who is accused of operating an illegal clinic in Kayole and sexually assaulting a sedated patient while posing as a medical doctor, was arrested by Flying Squad officers in Gachie, Kiambu County, after a two-week search.