The controversial Shalom Hospital is in the news again, this time, over claims that it has been involved in massive looting of NHIF funds.
Shalom Hospital closed indefinitely nine days ago after Ethan Muendo, a seven-month-old baby was injected with morphine, 20 times the recommended dosage by an untrained health worker.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua suspended the facility’s operating license.
The hospital has a couple of branches with the owner George Onyango apparently planning on opening another one in Kisumu.
From where does Onyango get the funds one might wonder.
Well, according to a local weekly publication, the hospital proprietor has been looting National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) funds from unsuspecting Kenyans with the help of insiders at the insurer.
Some of these individuals, we understand have since been nabbed by relevant authorities for stealing from Kenyans.
In November 2018 for instance, NHIF Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Mwangi and the insurer’s chief finance director Wilbert Kurgat were arrested on allegations of obstructing ongoing graft investigations at the insurance company.
The insurer is reported to have lost Sh93 million after it emerged that a 23 acre parcel of land it claimed to have bought in 2002 actually belongs to a group from the Maasai community.
In Onyango’s case the publication details, he has over the years been receiving millions of shillings every month for medical cover. Those privy to the details say that the former medic at Machakos Level Five Hospital over-bills NHIF by declaring fake patients and finally pockets millions of cash.
So good is the loot that he has since set up a hospital along Namanga Road. The land on which the facility sits is however in contention.
Kahawa Tungu also understands that the the workers who are either inexperienced or just unqualified receive meagre monthly wages. Some also want him investigated by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) for his corrupt dealings with NHIF.
Locals now want Onyango firmly dealt with for medical negligence.
Meanwhile, three people; Vincent Njau Nganga, Irene Katete Mutinda and Odhiambo Kennedy, believed to have caused the death of baby Ethan have since been charged with manslaughter.
Senior Resident Magistrate Irene Kahuya released them on bond of Ksh500,000 and a surety of a similar amount.