A family in Nairobi is in distress after a city hospital declined to release the body of their kin over a Ksh18 million pending bill.
The deceased, a medical doctor identified as Dr. Lincoln Khasakhala, succumbed to Covid-19 last month at the Nairobi Hospital.
At the time of his death, he was serving as a doctor at the Nairobi West Hospital and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
According to the family, Dr Khasakhala was rushed to the Nairobi Hospital in July 2021 unconscious and admitted in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) then moved to Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
He had tested positive for the disease with his wife in March but she passed on soon after, leaving him devastated.
Dr Khasakhala is said to have spent about two months in the ICU before he was moved to HDU. He was later moved to the normal ward when he showed signs of improvement. However, he remained in a vegetative state until his death.
The family told a local publication that by the time of the doctor’s death he had accumulated a Ksh22 million bill.
Dr Khasakhala’s younger brother, David, disclosed that they only managed to pay off Ksh2.9 million with the assistance of the Nairobi West Hospital.
David, however, noted that the University of Nairobi, Dr Khasakhala’s other employer, had declined to assist the family to offset the pending bill.
“The University claims that it was not informed when Khasakhala was admitted yet he was their staff and he was away for all those months. Of course, they knew he was admitted,” David told The Standard in a recent interview.
The university has declined to offset the bill on grounds that the Nairobi Hospital is not among health facilities it covers for its staff.
“For you to go to a private hospital not referred by us, you must get a special request and get permission to be admitted there. There’s no way we are liable for this,” the university’s corporate affairs office said.
Apparently, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has distanced itself from the family’s woes saying their efforts to have the patient discharged when the bill was ksh7 million were ignored.