By mentioning X-ray, MRI, Ultra Sound, and CT scan in Kenya, everyone looks at you with shock as if you have uttered a new term but the reality is that the Kenyan health sector market is known for its fragile and unfixed prices. One facility can charge a patient some little money while the next health facility charges millions of money to access the same service. As such, patients have become sensitive to the prices charged by various facilities and have resorted to seeking these same services in government hospitals. But the public facilities are also not spared with their delays in results, long queues, and absenteeism of the technicians.
However, it would be imperative if the patients get to know the actual price set by the government.
The costs above varies due to the unscrupulous nature of the doctors who earn money by referring patients to these facilities and in return, they are paid huge sums of money and the facility that pays a lot of money to doctors gets more referrals. “If this unethical culture of commissions and kickbacks is not stopped, it will discourage further investments in the medical sector. Much of the profits are being taken by the huge commissions demanded by unscrupulous doctors.”
Some facilities that have turned down demands for the illegal commissions are losing out due to sharp reductions in the number of patients referred to them. Their ability to remain in operation is threatened even if they are offering quality services.
Another doctor who runs a private medical lab in the city lamented that some labs have resorted to taking short-cuts and compromising on certain costs to recoup the losses from the illegal commissions being demanded by dodgy doctors.
Many laboratories and diagnostic centers that pay commissions operate at below-par standards, thus relevant bodies should step in to ensure all facilities meet the minimum standards,” she said. “Corruption needs to be tackled openly and head-on like has been done in other countries for the medical industry to survive.”
In general, no special preparation is needed before an x-ray is taken, unless a special dye called a contrast medium is going to be used. Contrast mediums outline a specific body area internally. They can be swallowed, injected into a vein or inserted rectally, and have a dull, opaque appearance on film.
If a contrast medium will be used, patients may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight before the test, and the physician may make minor changes in how the patient takes medication. The physician will ask about the patient’s history of allergies to screen for a potential allergic reaction to the dye.
They Should be sure to inform the examiner if they are or may be pregnant because x-rays can be harmful to fetuses in rare cases. In cases where the benefits of the x-ray outweigh the potential risks, pregnant women may wear a lead apron over their abdomen during the test.
A lead apron is also often worn by patients to help protect sex organs from x-rays. In high doses, women’s eggs and men’s sperm can be affected by radiation. However, the risk of this occurring as a result of an x-ray test is extremely low. Women should also inform the examiner if they have an IUD (a form of birth control) implanted.