July 27th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Top Nakuru hospital detains poor patients in squalid cell, blocks media access

A fourth attempt saw us referred to the General Manager Devraj Santosh who told off  journalists, saying that he was not aware of the issue and that he was busy conducting interviews for nurses via Skype thus could not offer us more attention.

By Jackson Okataamboleokata@gmail.comSaturday, 01 Jul 2017 12:17 EAT

The Mediheal Hospital Clinic.

Mediheal Hospital Nakuru branch is on the spot for confining six patients in an isolated room while denying them complete meals, access to clean water and toilets. The six patients who include a minor are locked in the room located on the first floor of one of the hospital’s wings with a security guard under firm instructions not to allow any one of them to get out.

One of the patients has been in the hospital since February, according to family sources. Access to the room is through a double steel door that is always under lock and key and manned by a security guard to ensure the patients don't get out. All the patients are due for discharge but are unable to pay medical bills, and the hospital management is alleged to have declined land title deeds presented to them as security.

Journalists who managed to gain access to the isolated room on Monday disguising themselves as relatives found male and female patients including the minor in one unkempt room located next to washrooms, and without water supply. The floor was littered with plastic bags, used bottles and food left overs while dirty plates were placed on a small table- an indication that water supply is an issue.

The interviewed patients told reporters that they hardly get water to use in the room while only one meal is served to them each day. One of them said that even the little water they were offered to drink was provided after they raised complains of dehydration.

While calling on the Ministry of Health to intervene in order for them to be accorded good care, the patients said that lack of medical fees should not make the hospital management mistreat them.

Three of the patients who are employees of Steel Structures Limited were involved in a road accident near Kampi Samaki in Baringo County a month ago while transporting materials for construction of a government-funded bridge in the area. Their employer reportedly abandoned them after they were taken to the hospital immediately after the accident occurred.

Three attempts to seek comments from the hospital management proved futile as journalists were informed that they were not available for comment and their mobile telephone numbers could not be shared.

A fourth attempt saw us referred to the General Manager Devraj Santosh who told off  journalists, saying that he was not aware of the issue and that he was busy conducting interviews for nurses via Skype thus could not offer us more attention.

One of the patients said on phone that since reporters started pursuing the matter, they had not been provided with water and food and at the same time called on the government and human rights bodies to intervene.

The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County





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