KENYA:KNH board to manage Othaya referral hospital

The Kenyatta National Hospital board has taken over management of the Sh1 billion Othaya National Teaching and Referral Hospital in Nyeri county.

Othaya MP Gichuki Mugambi while confirming the development said the move is aimed at ensuring the hospital is fully operational and source health expertise from KNH.

The move means that the hospital will not be under direct supervision of the Ministry of Health but will be under the KNH board which is chaired by Mr Nicholas Gumbo.

The hospital opened its doors to patients in August with over 500 staff but its services were paralysed two months later after the staff left citing low house allowance, Mr Mugambi said Tuesday.

The facility is the first teaching and referral hospital in Mt Kenya region.

Patients started been referred back to the lower level hospitals such as the Nyeri County Referral Hospital for treatment.

Othaya being a small town and the house allowance being too low, most of the employees recruited initially resigned because the house allowance was reduced. Also most of the experts failed to report,” said Mr Mugambi.

Following the exit of the staff the paediatric ward and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wards were not opened for lack of expertise, thus paralysing functioning of the facility which had been dormant for five years.

The hospital has now upgraded to a parastatal status and the KNH board will be able to recruit staff at better terms and we will have access to all Kenyatta Hospital doctors,” said Mr Mugambi.

Staff quarters at the hospital, the MP added, are also under renovation to house some health experts. The MP reported that the hospital will have at least 51 doctors.

“We have already started seeing improvement because initially we had 18 patients after two months of operational but now the figure has risen to 50,” said Mr Mugambi. The hospital h

Further, the hospital with a 350-beds capacity is yet to fully adopt the name Mwai Kibaki Teaching and Referral Hospital because the retired Head of State has not given consent.

“We really want to use that name and we wrote to him. But we are still waiting for his confirmation as we do not want to do it without his full consent. For now, it remains Othaya National Teaching and Referral Hospital,” said the MP.

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