The largest referral hospital in east and central Africa allowed 258 Patients Initially Detained over Debts by Kenyatta National Hopsital to go home after a public outcry.
After the hospital posted the faces of patients on their facebook pages asking the public if they can identify the faces and inform their members or the nearest police stattion. The social media users received the posts with mixed reactions citing that it might be that these faces have run away fro the hospital with unpaid bills. However, later on, it was made clear that after long constructive discussions, the hospital decided to free the patients.
Jubilant family members thronged the hospital to greet and escort them home. "I am happy. This is God's doing. I just want to leave this place and go home," Mr Joram Githaka, who had been detained for a month, said. He was taken to KNH with severe burns four months ago.
Ms Esther Momanyi said she had lost hope of seeing her nephew leave the hospital.
"Family members said they could not raise the Sh355,000 the hospital was demanding," she said.
During a press briefing, KNH board chairman James Kamau said the patients had not been detained "as widely reported by the media".
"The patients had been discharged but had not completed clearing," Dr Mwangi said.
He added that the 2,000-bed-capacity hospital handles about 70,000 inpatients and 600,000 outpatients every year.
Dr Mwangi said a large number of patients in emergency care cannot meet the cost of treatment.
"About 30 per cent of the patients in the accident and emergency unit are unable to settle their bills. KNH is owed Sh5.6 billion in accrued debts since 2003," he said.
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