Fresh grading of public hospitals to enhance services


Newly constructed ICU building at Kangundo Level 4 Hospital. [Erastus Mulwa, Standard]

Public hospitals will be graded afresh to enhance their efficiency and quality of services offered, the government has announced.

Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority (KHPOA) chief executive Jackson Kioko said the fresh rating will also create competition among the hospitals that will in turn boost service delivery to patients.

Dr Kioko said the hospitals will be graded in a similar manner as hotels, from one to five star. 

Some hospitals are expected to be elevated as others are demoted as the new grading takes off, Kioko said

Kioko spoke in Mombasa on Thursday during the 8th Annual Funeral Conference organised by the Funeral Services Association of Kenya (FUSAK) in conjunction with the African Federation of Funeral Services (AFFS) with the theme of the two-day event being Infection Control in Mortuary Services.

The latest grading is the only way to introduce competition and enhance the quality of healthcare services offered, Kioko said.

"There shall be a thorough inspection of levels of care, infrastructure, personnel and types of services rendered in hospitals which are currently level 1, level 2, level 3,4 or 5," he said.

Currently, there are six levels of healthcare facilities in Kenya. The first five are managed at the county level while the Level Six hospitals are managed by the national government.

Patients may move from a hospital in one level to the next through referral.

Kioko said grading will also seek to introduce equality in the provision of health services.

At the same time, Kioko announced a nationwide data collection on the various cadres of health services providers as the government seeks to streamline services.

Dr Kioko said an earlier study revealed that there are 42 different cadres of health workers in the country. Out of these, only nine have regulatory bodies governing their operations. The rest are unregulated.

"All these caders contribute immensely to the provision of healthcare in the country and beyond and need some form of regulation. Today's meeting is crucial as we have started making direct engagement with members of FUSAK," he said.

He said KHPOA has identified FUSAK as one of the essential service providers in the health sector and will be working closely with it to ensure improved service delivery while ensuring the safety of mortuary attendants.

"We all know the critical role played by members of your association right from the time a member of the society dies up to the time they are preparing for decent send-offs. You remain an integral part of the health care provision though dealing with the dead," he said.

FUSAK chairman Olack Ezra Omondi and association secretary-general Augustine Owino commended the government for coming up with the new regulatory authority saying its formation was timely and will help in eradicating quacks.

"We have not been spared either in the funeral industry. There have been complaints about bodies embalmed and taken abroad not having been well preserved. This is the work of quacks who have been giving us a bad name," Olack said.

Delegates at the workshop from Kenya, Botswana, the USA, South Africa, and Uganda took time off to remember colleagues who died in the line of duty due to Covid-19 by lighting candles to commemorate the services they offered to humanity.

The chief guest during the event is Dr Edith Churchman, Funeral Director and an international ambassador for funeral homes. 

The chief guest at the event is Dr Edith Churchman, a funeral director and an international ambassador for funeral homes. 

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