Referral hospitals will soon reject walk-in patients, the government has said.
This was after Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced a planned upgrade of hospitals in informal parts of Nairobi. The hospitals, he said, will operate round the clock.
24-hour services, the minister said, will help decongest referral hospitals like the Kenyatta National and Referral Hospital, Mama Lucy, Mbagathi, and Kenyatta University.
“Consequently, in three months’ time, when round-the-clock services are available at these facilities, it will no longer be possible to serve walk-in patients at any of the designated referral facilities,” CS Kagwe said during the opening of Lang’ata Health Centre in Otiende.
Making reference to the Nairobi Regeneration Report, the CS said that at least 47 percent of patients who seek treatment at KNH are walk-ins. Most of them, he said, seek medical attention at night.
“KNH is supposed to be a referral facility, taking care of cases that require specialized treatment from across the country, which is why it’s national. The hospital is supposed to support other lower facilities whenever they need advanced care support. Unfortunately, this has not been the case,” he continued.
With a 1,000-bed capacity, the hospitals will only offer imaging, laboratory, maternity, and consultative services.
The government has maintained that both private and public hospitals are overwhelmed following a spike in the number of Covid-19 related cases.