Meridian Hospital's bid to block case hits brick wall

The Meridian Hospital has failed in a bid to stop a criminal case against it.

Justice Jackline Kamau said the High Court cannot stop proceedings in a lower court terming the move improper.

While dismissing the application by the hospital, Justice Kamau found that the two matters would not impact on each other as had been implied.

"Each court would be required to determine the case depending on the evidence that would be placed before it," she said.

The hospital was trying to stop an anti-corruption case before the lower court where they had been charged alongside Lang'at Kerich, Marwa Fadhili Chacha, David Kipruto Chingi, Peter Ngunjiri Wambugu and Ndiba Wairoko.

They were sued by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) for entering into a contract but failing to disclose some facts. The two institutions entered into the said contract on January 1, 2012, to provide primary health care and treatment to all civil servants and disciplined services under premium cover.

However, the hospital was said to be setting up and equipping clinics during this period contrary to what they had informed the health fund.

On noting the anomaly, NHIF terminated the contract through a letter dated June 14, 2013, and the hospital was aggrieved that they had not been given the three-month notice required to terminate the contract.

After the termination, the hospital and the five were charged. NHIF argued that it would save the court's time if the proceedings to stop the criminal case are suspended pending a determination by the anti-corruption court.

Through Simeon Kirgotty, NHIF said the court's findings on whether the medical institution had a conspiracy to defraud the health fund, which led to the termination of the contract, would determine the outcome of the case in court. The hospital on the other hand had stated that the reason for seeking a stay on the proceedings before the lower court was to prevent parallel proceedings.