The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council (KMPDC) on Tuesday cleared the Nairobi Women’s Hospital of all overcharging allegations, claiming the hospital’s fees ‘are in line with industry benchmarks’.
KMPDC’s move deals a blow to its own credibility in the wake of an investigative piece that highlighted serious unethical practices at the hospital including overcharging, willful failure to discharge patients in order to rake in more money and restructuring the hospital by getting rid of professionals and bringing in their stead inexperienced staff in order to save on costs.
The Council says its investigations show that ‘there is no evidence’ of overcharging at the hospital, or any instances where the fees charged were above the recommended rates by the medical practitioners body.
Further, the Council has drafted a raft of recommendations it feels will be important if the hospital is to rise from the rubble it is stuck in at the moment.
“The health and needs of our patients always have been and always will be our priority,” said Dr. Sam Thenya, founder of the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. “It was important to open our hospitals to an independent review, and we thank the Council for their detailed assessment and feedback,”
“We will comply with all of their recommendations, as well as implement further improvements to
ensure we are continuing to provide the highest quality service to our patients.” added Dr Thenya.
KMPDC recommends that the hospital incorporates doctors in the senior leadership team to offer medical guidance and put in place an appropriate policy on information management. The doctors will also be tasked with reviewing all business communications protocols.
In addition to the Council’s inquiry, the hospital’s board has also conducted am internal review and has made recommendations for ‘further enhancing the quality of patient care’.
The recommendations include reviewing the company’s governance structure to ensure that clear and effective communication lines are maintained, and that the existing quality control functions within
the hospital have a second line of reporting directly to the board.
The hospital will also implement a training program to raise awareness of the hospital’s compliance policies and procedures, its focus on delivering quality healthcare at an affordable price, and its existing whistleblowing procedures.
Further, the hospital will update internal reporting protocols to ensure comprehensive monitoring of all admissions and discharges.
Regular assessment of the proportion of medical doctors and clinical officers across the hospital will also form part of the in-tray, so as to guide the organisation on the ethics of good clinical practice.
“We are committed to tackling this matter in a manner that lives up to the long-standing trust that the authorities, the regulators, the insurance companies, the medical community and the patients have placed in us,” said Dr. Thenya. “We will continue to do everything in our power to provide the best possible healthcare to our patients at the most affordable prices.”