Poor households in the country are likely to be fully locked out from accessing quality health services from some public hospitals.
This comes about after a comparison was carried out on changes on consultation charges from different private hospitals which stated that Mater and MP Shah hospitals have increased their consultation fees by up to 78 per cent in the past one and a half years.
In the year 2014, MP Shah hospital’s consultation fee stood at Sh.1,400 but it was increased to Sh.2,500 while that for Mater Hospital increased from Sh.1,300 to Sh.1,600. The increment has in turn piled a lot of pressure on insurance premiums and the general cost of healthcare in the country.
Apart from consultation fees, other services that have faced some changes include increase bed and laboratory test fees thus putting most people at a fix on not being able to raise the high amounts needed for them to access the quality medical services from such hospitals.
Those covered with insurance premiums attend to be abit lucky since their bills will be catered for but on the other side, their monthly insurance charges will also have to be increased abit. Households without insurance covers will be forced to strain abit so as raise the huge amounts needed for them to attended to. Out of Kenya’s population, only a quarter of them are covered by insurances, most of which is done by their employers.
Public hospitals on the other hand tend to be struggling to come up with improve d medical services that can cater for the needs of the largest middle class in the country.
Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) Chief Executive disclosed that the cost of medical services in the country has increased in the past years with inflation and the cost of labor leading the increment. He added that the increase may also have come about since most of the medical equipment used in the country are imported.
Article by Juma Fred.