Kenyatta National Referral Hospital (KNH) on Tuesday buckled to a public outcry to release 250 patients it had detained at the facility over unpaid hospital bills.
“The Board of Management of Kenyatta National Hospital has taken a decision to release 250 patients,” KNH said in a press conference on Tuesday.
The release of the 250 patients came after an expose by Citizen TV revealing a frustrating situation of patients who had been treated but remained prisoners in the facility for lack of funds to settle their bills.
Women were the majority of patients held at the referral hospital where 387 bodies continue to be held as families are unable to clear accumulating hospital bills left by their kin.
The patients are scheduled for release at 2 pm on 2nd April 2019 at the Administration Block Parking Area where the hospital board will also address the press.
The Ministry of Health last week had noted, through a report on Thursday, that the detained patients and bodies at the facility had accumulated a debt of 5, 692,834,284 shillings.
“Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has been detaining 184 patients and 387 bodies for non-payment of almost 6 billion shillings,” the Health Ministry told the press.
“To address the accumulation of patient bills in hospitals, the Ministry communicates to relevant hospitals to waive the bills or enter into a credit facility or cases that are brought to our attention,” the ministry report stated.
Health facilities reported to be detaining patients over unpaid medical bills include Nakuru County Referral Hospital where 15 patients are detained owing the facility 850, 780 shillings.
Kakamega Referral Hospital is reported to be detaining 56 patients who owe the facility an accumulating 3, 336,806 shillings while the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital has not detained patients though has 1, 000,993,870 debts owed by patients.