The ailing health sector in Kilifi County forcing patients to share beds, buy own medicine

The issue of patients sharing beds in public hospitals in Kilifi County is greatly contributing to the ailing of the health sector in the County.

This problem is rampant at three main hospitals that include the Kilifi County Referral Hospital, Malindi and Mariakani Sub County hospitals where patients also suffer due to a lack of enough drugs forcing them to buy from private pharmacies.

Mrs. Margaret Kilalo whose patient was referred to Malindi Sub County hospital from Mariakani Sub County hospital says that the lack of equipment and critical health care at the public hospitals was making medication costly for many residents.

For Mrs. Kilalo, it is even worse because despite her patients being referred, she still has to get dialysis services in private clinics within Malindi town yet her patient is admitted to Malindi Sub County hospital.

“My appeal is that our governor should also look at the Mariakani hospital because we were referred here for dialysis but the problem is that there are services that are not here forcing us to seek them outside which cost us Sh. 3,000 after every two days without adding the cost of transport,” she says.

She adds that sharing of beds is also aggravating the situation. Her sentiments are echoed by Mrs. Esther Kadzo who appeals for more beds and wards in the hospital.

“My neighbor fell from the bed at night because she was unable to turn since they are sharing beds, more beds should be added,” she says.

The hospital’s Medical Superintendent Job Gayo acknowledged the challenges saying that it is not practicable to send a patient home because the beds are few.

“We can’t send an inpatient patient home yet they need closer supervision; that is why we are forced to make use of the limited resources. I call upon the Governor to help construct more wards so that our patients do not share beds,” he said.

He also adds that digitization of hospital records is needed since the paper-based system is very slow and outdated adding that in the digital system, what a patient will need is only the registration number hence reducing the cost of buying books.

“What makes us refer patients to Mombasa and other places is the lack of equipment such as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and CT scan. If we get them I am very sure you will not hear us sending patients for referrals and, we also have an acute shortage of staff,” he says.

The hospital also faces challenges of inadequate drugs for critical diseases which force patients to purchase externally.

During a tour of the facility on Friday, Governor Gideon Mung’aro said that his administration will address the shortcomings by providing enough drugs and equipment.

He also said that poor patients with medical bills will be discharged after thorough scrutiny of their family background.

“Those patients with bills but not able to clear them will be released after scrutiny from their areas so that we ensure only the poor ones benefit,” he said.


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