March 2019 Business Daily;
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said that KNH is owed Sh5.6 billion from July 2003 to February 2019 while Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) is struggling with unpaid bills of Sh1 billion.
The unpaid bills come as the two referral hospitals battle to raise funds to buy medicines, upgrade facilities and acquire diagnostic equipment.
“To deal with the accumulation of patient bills in hospitals, the ministry wrote to relevant hospitals to waive the bills for cases that are brought to our attention. However, as a long- term measure, the ministry is currently piloting Universal Health Coverage, which is expected to address problem of cost of healthcare to all citizens,” she said.
There are also nine other facilities owed a total of Sh100 million by patients.
Low income patients have been locked out from accessing services in private hospitals and rely heavily on public hospitals which struggle to improve the quality of treatment against massive budget constraints.
Most of the patients who do not have medical insurance are forced to dig deep into their pockets to fund the higher cost of healthcare that has blocked millions of poor families from accessing quality treatment.
Hospitals such as KNH have resolved to increase patient charges annually for five years in order to raise billions of shillings for facilities upgrade.
KNH said that it would raise Sh31.4 billion from patient fees starting this year and intends to spend Sh95 billion, including Sh10.7 billion on upgrades during the period.
Ms Mochache said the ministry is developing some long term guidelines to standardise and waiver systems and credit facilities in both public and private hospitals. The PS said 300 patients are held in various facilities owing to nonpayment of medical bills while 391 bodies are held at KNH, Pandya and Tabaka mission hospitals over a total of 8.5 million debt.