The minister grabbed media headlines, as she went down the annals of history as the first leader to be treated at a public hospital.
The previous years had witnessed President Kibaki and his Vice-President Michael Wamalwa treated for various illnesses in hospitals in the UK.
But Ngilu left KNH satisfied and challenged Cabinet colleagues and fellow MPs to seek medical services in public hospitals, saying public health institutions had adequate facilities, and qualified medical personnel.
But that is a far as the story went. Ngilu, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife Ida, former President Moi and former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, among others, have been treated at the privately owned, high-end Nairobi Hospital.
The PM Raila Odinga, Ngilu and Muthaura have also been flown out for specialised treatment in either South Africa or in Europe.
More recently, in February, former Environment minister John Michuki was admitted to a UK hospital after suffering a mild stroke. He later died while undergoing treatment at the privately owned Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.
But the picture of a deficient healthcare is epitomised by the move by the two Health ministers, Anyangâ Nyongâo and Beth Mugo, to seek for specialised cancer treatments in hospitals in the US.
While Mugo was treated for breast cancer at one of the leading research centres in the US, the Perelman Centre for Advanced Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Nyongâo was attended to for prostate cancer at the University of California San Francisco, Mount Zion.
The two were treated on diverse dates and upon return, they announced they had been cured. But Nyongâo was more apologetic declaring: "The situation in our country is simply deplorable and my heart bleeds for our people when I accept this."
Barrack Muluka, a commentator on social issues, however, argues that Kenyans are partly to blame for the situation. "Itâs a sticky issue: People want proper medicare, but they do not want to pay up. There are no two ways about it. People must be ready to foot the cost of upgrading the health sector," says Muluka.