Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) will from July this year start rejecting walk-in-patients, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
The move is part of the government efforts to decongest the referral hospital, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi has confirmed.
Patients seeking medical attention will be required to visit other hospitals in the city. This includes 24 health facilities currently being managed by NMS.
Plans to close KNH doors to walk-in patients were revealed in March by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
The CS announced a planned upgrade of hospitals in informal parts of Nairobi to cater to the needs of the patients.
24-hour services, the minister said, will help decongest referral hospitals like KNH, Mama Lucy, Mbagathi, and Kenyatta University Hospital.
“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 per cent 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 added.