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Nakuru hospital records influx of patients as service delivery improves

Wednesday November 13 2019

Nakuru Provincial General Hospital

The entrance to Margaret Kenyatta Mother and Baby wing maternity wing at Nakuru Provincial General Hospital. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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The automation of revenue collection at Nakuru Provincial General Hospital Level Five has significantly improved to Sh563million in the just concluded financial year.

A status report by the Nakuru County Assembly tabled in the House on Tuesday, indicated that in the 2017/2018 financial year, the referral hospital collected Sh356million.

The report states that this improved revenue collection was attributed to cashless system adopted by the hospital management steered by Dr Joseph Mburu.

“The hospital operates 90 per cent cashless system except for petty cash where they have billing clerks who issue electronic receipts to the clients once payment is made,” read part of the report.

The hospital has set a target of collecting about 56million annually from the new Margaret Kenyatta Mother and Baby Wing to enable it deliver quality services to the more than two million residents of the cosmopolitan county.

Despite this ambitious target the management reported that the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is still withholding Sh6million reimbursement to the hospital for services rendered to patients using NHIF cards.

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INFLUX OF PATIENTS

The committee further noted that automation of revenue had reduced the risk of handling and transporting cash.

The report revealed that a neighbouring hospital, PGH Annex which is also owned by the county government is yet to automate its revenue collection.

The referral hospital has been experiencing an influx of outpatients and inpatients from the neighbouring counties of Kericho, Baringo, Narok, Laikipia and Nyandarua due to its improved service delivery.

According to Dr Mburu the increased influx of patients had stretched its facilities and increased workload to a lean staff at Margaret Kenyatta Mother and Baby Wing and PGH Annex.

NEED FOR MORE STAFF

To address the challenge of staff shortage at the maternity wing, the hospital has recruited 10 nurses, two medical officers, a consultant Obstetric gynaecologist and three receptionists.

“The outpatient, physiotherapy and inpatients departments are currently experiencing a 100 per cent bed occupancy,” read the report.

The number of pregnant mothers seeking services at the ultra-modern maternity wing has increased by 60 per cent currently compared to 25 per cent in the last financial year.

According to Dr Mburu at least 1,200 babies are delivered safely at the hospital every month.

To mitigate against the increasing number of patients at the PGH Level Five, the devolved unit has embarked on a Sh600million construction of an ultra-modern outpatient complex.

The complex whose construction commenced in June this year is expected to be completed in January 2021.

MORE FACILITIES

“This will ease congestion at the outpatient wing and will transform service delivery into a one stop shop,” said Dr Gichuki Kariuki, the county Minster for Health Services.

The hospital has also partnered with the national government and is constructing a Radiotherapy Bunker, a project which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The assembly report observed that PGH Annex was exposing patients to external risks as the facility has not installed Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) and had no perimeter wall.

Interestingly, the busy hospital was operating without an ambulance which has been grounded due to mechanical problems.

The committee in its recommendations urged department of health to set aside funds to install CCTV cameras and construct a perimeter wall at PGH Annex to enhance security of patients and workers at the facility.

At the same time the committee urged the management of PGH Annex to automate its revenue collection to ensure transparency and accountability.