Do you remember those days when you secured an admission to form one? What were you asked to report with on the first day? A spoon? Basin? Towel? Blanket? Soap?
Now, picture being asked to carry the same before being admitted to a public hospital. Imagine walking into a hospital and the first thing you are slapped with is a list of items such as slippers, basin, soap, spoon, plate, cup and blanket. It sounds like a joke. Right?
In the past few days, Kiambu Level 5 Hospital has dominated the headlines following the exposure of the pathetic state of health in the county. Apparently, with a population of more than two million people, the county has only a capacity of 900 beds in the public hospital.
Being admitted at Kiambu Level 5, according to patients, is like being admitted to a boarding secondary school. Apart from being given a list of medicines to buy, one is also required to come armed with a plate, spoon, cup, basin, blanket, slippers and other amenities that the hospital should tactically provide.
The high number of patients at the facility has forced patients to share beds, and in very serious instances, both male and female patients share beds while facing opposite side due to shortage of beds in the hospital.
Chances of starving to death, contracting new infections or even patients having to sleep on the floor are high in this facility due to congestion. This state exists despite the fact that the Health Department of the hospital having an annual budget of 4 billion shillings.
It was disclosed that Kiambu County Government spends 134 million shillings on drugs but still patients admitted at the facility do not get the important commodity.
On being asked about the state of Hospital, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu blamed the high number of patients at the facility on neighboring counties who go seeking medical services there, thus leading to strained operations to ensure that every patient is attended to.
“In Kiambu county, more than half the number of patient we treat are from bordering counties. We are now attending to at least 10,000 people daily and this has really dealt a blow to service delivery at the hospital,” said Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has defended the exploding number of patients at Kiambu Level Five hospital, stating it was an indicator of work well done in the County’s health sector.
Waititu went further to applause the state of affair at the facility; “To me, I would suppose people would be pleased to hear four people are sharing a bed…it means that the hospital has good services, the bad ones have no patients,” said Waititu.
The wanting state of health services is not only evident at the Level Five hospital but its widespread in a big number of government hospitals in the county.
The situation at Kiambu Level Five Hospital reflects the real issues facing public hospitals across the country. Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret is being faced with the same challenges of shortage of beds for patients, forcing them to share.
Are County Governments doing enough as far as the healthcare systems in counties are concerned? Better healthcare is among the Big 4 Agendas of the current government, will they be achieved? What more needs to be done to improve the situation and ensure that Kenyans enjoy the fruits of their taxes?