Hospital in a spot after intern posing as doctor swindles patient Sh190k

The intern is alleged to have taken advantage and fraudulently obtained Sh195,131 from the patient and their family. [Istockphoto]

Police in Trans Nzoia County are investigating an incident where a patient lost more than Sh190,000 to an intern posing as a doctor at the Kitale County Referral Hospital.

Jimmy Maleya was admitted to the facility on August 8.

He was brought in by his parents, wife and sister.

The suspect and Maleya's sister Terry are said to have exchanged contacts.

Maleya's father, Levi Karani, 77, told journalists that his daughter exchanged contacts with the intern since she was flying outside the country.

"My daughter wanted to stay in touch so that she could be updated on her brother's progress. She requested the medic to take good care of her brother as she was flying to the US," Karani told journalists.

The intern is alleged to have taken advantage and fraudulently obtained Sh195,131 from Terry for her brother's treatment.

The intern, according to the family, requested a special drug which he claimed was to be flown from Nairobi since they were not available in Kitale.

"The intern requested me to send the money to purchase a certain antifungal drug only available in Nairobi. He also insisted that the pharmaceutical company where the drug is available cannot release it to anyone unless he went personally to pick it from Nairobi," said Karani.

In a WhatsApp message presented at the Kitale Police Station as evidence, the intern kept demanding money from Terry who eventually gave in, believing she was saving her brother's life.

"When we realised we had been conned, we approached the medical superintendent, who confirmed our worst fears. He advised us to report the matter to the police," said the distraught father.

Karani reported the incident to Kitale Police Station, where the officers promised to launch investigations.

County Commander Jacinta Wesonga confirmed the matter had been reported and investigations had started.

"It is true the family has recorded statements to assist us with investigations. We have assured them that we will carry out thorough investigations to ensure justice is served," said Ms Wesonga.

Trans Nzoia Health Executive Claire Wanyama said they were aware of the incident and said a disciplinary committee had been established to probe the issue.

"It is unethical. The committee is investigating the matter and a report will be presented to the police," said Ms Wanyama.

Medical Superintendent Francis Soita said they had probed the issue and forwarded a report to the DCI.

"We are waiting for necessary action to be taken," said Soita.

Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture and Technology where the intern claimed to be a student denied knowing the suspect.

"The incident happened during a period when there were no students on internship. We are strict with our students on internship. We have outlined consequences of unethical behaviours," said an official of the university, who declined to be named.

The official stated that doctors and clinical officers go for internship once they complete their studies, and it is the Ministry of Health and county governments that recruit them.

"The person in question is more of a clinical officer, Let us wait for the police probe," the official noted.