The wondrous joy of small Eastleigh hospital that's doing better than blue chip companies

Joy Nursing Home in Eastleigh that was elavated to a level four hospital on Janaury 29, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard] 

A miniature hospital, operating in a residential building somewhere in Eastleigh, is reported to have been elevated to “Level 4” status, attracting patients whose surgical procedures merited a handsome compensation of Sh400m from the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

That’s more than some blue-chip media companies are making. In fact, some are doing so badly, they have issued profit warnings or shed off staff, thanks to the ravages of Covid-19 that somehow did not slow down the flow of patients to the Eastleigh facility.

What’s even more encouraging is that the small hospital has a modest capacity of 20 beds, boasts of one microscope and does not have a life support system, or a morgue, which are required for Level 4 facilities. They don’t worry too much about matters of life and death; they just treat patients.

And the toilets there are in such a “dilapidated” condition, MPs were surprised such unsanitary conditions could be allowed in a health facility. Or even how hundreds of surgeries could be conducted every week in such crammed and horrid conditions.

I think Joy Nursing Home offers a teachable moment for the nation: Rather than expend energies to probe what they could have done to make so much money, I’d like to focus on the positive.

First off, as the hospital’s director Kennedy Otieno told lawmakers, he did not license the hospital; competent authorities did so. There must have been something that appealed to them. It could be the name of the establishment, for instance, giving “joy” to patients in pain.

But joy therapy won’t work alone so the location of the facility came in handy.

Many hospitals are essentially prisons of isolation.

By locating the hospital in a residential area, patients instantly feel at home, which could potentially accelerate their recovery.

Then of course, there is the magic of Eastleigh, where just about everything lies in the realm of the possible. If ever there was a case for the creation of a special economic zone, then it is the Joy Nursing Home neighbourhood!

Who knows, if flagging blue chip media companies shifted to Eastleigh, since the currency of journalism is ideas, then there will be plentiful of ideas floating in the air, from Joy Nursing Home and its environs, about how to heal the nation, and making a coin almost effortlessly.