The country’s and region’s biggest public hospital, the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), will be closed for six months for renovation.
Built in 1901, KNH has been the last port of call for patients seeking public health facilities in the country, owing to its superior equipment and human resource.
During the closure, the health system will bank on improved and new health facilities especially in Nairobi to handle the patients that used to be handled by KNH.
“The best-equipped hospital in this country is KNH. If I was unwell, I would rather go to Kenyatta than any private hospital. Public hospitals must good in the people we deploy and the continuous training in non-clinical issues such as reception and customer care that people will opt to go to public hospitals rather than private ones,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.
In recent times, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services has upgraded at least 14 facilities, a move that has seen the number of patients visiting KNH drop drastically.
“This is not rocket science but the reality on the ground. The number of patients at KNH has reduced because people in informal settlements now have access to health care services,” said NMS director of health services Ouma Oluga.
According to Oluga, more than 160,000 patients who would otherwise go to KNH have been attended to in the new hospitals.
KNH is looking to upgrade its deteriorating machinery, some of it which are outdated.
“This year alone, we have received more than Sh1 billion for equipment. Even when you hear doctors complaining [about lack of equipment], we have modern equipment,” said KNH CEO Evanson Kamuri.