Clean up the health sector



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The news coming out of some hospitals is terribly sickening.

Trending are nauseating images of the squalor and rot inside the wards and in the compound of Kerugoya Referral Hospital.

The garbage strewn all over the place and unkempt toilets speak volumes about the kind of ineptitude that must never be condoned in a health institution.

Just the other day, the focus was on a private hospital in Machakos County, where a child died in circumstances that smack of utter negligence.

A task force that investigated the death of the seven-month-old boy has found that the hospital has been violating patient care guidelines and failing to hire senior doctors to offer such specialised treatment and care.

These two cases are symptomatic of what ails our health sector. The mess is widespread and it’s a pity that the very places where the sick go for help have been so badly neglected that they pose a grave risk to them, instead.

Indeed, because the focus has mainly been on the endemic shortcomings in public hospitals, the rot in the private institutions has largely escaped attention.

But whenever the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has carried out inspections, even in these private hospitals, many of the facilities have been found wanting.

And to give credit where it is due, the board has played a significant role in getting health professionals and the institutions to meet the standards.

Quacks have been arraigned for masquerading as healthcare givers and punished. Sadly, the inspections are often sporadic or carried out whenever a tragic incident occurs.

This country has a fairly effective healthcare system that encourages public and private sector participation. The challenge is ensuring that high quality standards are maintained at all times.


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