Othaya Level Six hospital to open after years of empty promises

The main block of the Othaya Level Four Hospital in Othaya, Nyeri County on October 10, 2017. (Mose Sammy, Standard)
Mwai Kibaki Teaching and Referral Hospital in Othaya town, Nyeri County will open its doors to patients on Tuesday.

The Sh1 billion facility will be the fourth Level Six teaching and referral facility in Kenya.

Public Service Commission chairperson Steven Kirogo, Governor Mutahi Kahiga, and area MP Gichuki Mugambi toured the facility in readiness for the opening.

Mr Kirogo said the new staff were ready to start admitting referral patients.

“We have recruited 527 staff including the chief executive officer, professionals and support staff and we expect they will start work even as we make plans to recruit more,” he said.

Launched in 2010 by President Mwai Kibaki, the facility has been dormant despite countless test runs and empty promises.

In November last year, then Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum announced it would start operations within two weeks. 

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However, five months later, the facility has not opened its doors to patients. Only guards move around while two ambulances are parked at the entrance, wasting away.

The hospital requires 1,347 staff for optimum performance.

Mr Kahiga said the cooperation between the county and national governments will see the facility become operational.

“I am happy that President Uhuru Kenyatta heard our pleas and made the facility a referral hospital, it has been a cordial and beneficial relationship between the governments at county and national level,” he said.

He noted that the facility would have a diabetic centre and offer specialised treatment.

The Othaya Level 4 facility which is also in the same compound will remain operational.

“This Level Six facility will ease the congestion at Nyeri County Referral Hospital and will serve residents from neighbouring counties of Laikipia and Kirinyaga who have ended up in our facilities due strike by medics,” Kahiga said.

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Mwai Kibaki Teaching and Referral HospitalMwai KibakiOthaya Level 4Health