KENYA – The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is primed to open 12 new hospitals within a fortnight as it steps up access to affordable healthcare in informal settlements in Nairobi.
The 12 health facilities are part of 24 hospitals being put up by the Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration in the lower-income residential areas.
“A total of 12 of the new hospitals are ready for commissioning. We are hoping in the next two weeks His Excellency the President will give us guidance on opening them,” said Mr Badi.
Already, four of these hospitals namely Uthiru-Muthua Level 3 Hospital, Kiamaiko, Kayole-Soweto, and Ushirika in Dandora, which are all Level 2 facilities (dispensaries) are operational.
President Kenyatta also opened the dispensary at Green Park terminus, which is also operational ahead of the completion of the bus stage.
Two more, Gatina hospital in Kawangware and Gichagi in Kangemi, are also in operation although they have not been commissioned.
The NMS boss further pointed out that the remaining eight hospitals are also at an advanced stage of construction and will be complete by the first week of July.
The new hospitals are aimed at reducing walk-in patients’ burden on Kenyatta National Hospital, Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, Pumwani and Mbagathi Hospitals.
In regards to this, NMS expressed having encountered certain challenges, such as the acquisition of land in the informal settlements, has dragged the process but he is optimistic that all will be ready July.
“We resolved the issues of land and we are now on course to have all the hospitals completed by July,” he said
NMS received Sh2 billion for the construction of the new hospitals in various informal settlements across Nairobi.
The project involved building 19 hospitals from scratch, where 10 were to be Level 2 facilities and the rest Level 3, while five more were to be rehabilitated at a cost of Sh300 million.
At the same time, NMS boss also revealed that through savings, NMS has built three extra hospitals in addition to the 24.
Already, NMS has employed 2,000 healthcare workers among them 44 specialists, 679 nurses, 130 doctors to ensure that human resource is not the barrier to effective service delivery in all the 24 new hospitals and other facilities.
Kenya’s public healthcare system has constantly been in the lime light, mostly for the wrong reasons.
In 2019, Kenya’s biggest referral hospital, The Kenyatta National Hospital, was implicated in a scandal involving Sh1.2 billion medical equipment sourced in a deal with the Spanish government.
During questioning, one of the legislators said, “This was one huge deal that no one knows about. No one knows what the equipment is. We are not sure if any valuation or technical checks were done.”
NMS is expected to bring major reforms to the healthcare industry in Nairobi, making public hospitals reliable and credible to serve Kenyan citizens.