Nairobi West Hospital sues TSC over a patient discharge issue

A hospital has sued a man and his wife's employer for failing to pay a patient’s bill.

In the suit filed under a certificate of urgency yesterday, Nairobi West Hospital sought orders compelling Joseph Kahiga and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pay Sh21 million and accept the discharge of Grace Munyao within 14 days.

Through lawyer Kibanya Nguru, the hospital claimed the patient continued to be hospitalised despite her consultant doctor and the hospital doctor recommending that she be discharged.

“Kahiga, who is the patient's husband, has refused to accept the said discharge and receive her for home-based care,” said Mr Nguru.

He said the woman’s prolonged hospitalisation exposed her to secondary infections and other complications.

Ms Munyao, who is a TSC employee, was admitted at the hospital in August last year. The hospital says even though her husband has provided some security towards payment of the accruing bill, it is inadequate. TSC is also unwilling to commit to paying the bill.

The hospital says the conduct demonstrated by Mr Kahiga and TSC indicate that they want the patient to remain hospitalised even if the bill continues to accrue.

“They have abandoned their responsibility of caring for the patient therefore leaving Nairobi West Hospital to bear the burden of unnecessary hospitalisation of the patient," said Nguru.

“Alternatively, the court be pleased to authorise that Grace Munyao be transferred to Kenyatta National Referral Hospital or to any other public hospital."

Michael Mahaga, an in-house counsel at the hospital, said the parties needed to agree on how to handle the matter.

In a letter written to the hospital on July 16, Kahiga said his wife was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function.

He said since her hospitalisation, he had continued to do everything in his power to cater for all the medical bills.

“I have sold goods, raised money and even placed a title deed with the hospital. If she is discharged, I would require more than Sh300, 000 a month to take care of her.”

Saying he had exhausted all means of generating revenue, he added that he had initiated correspondence with the Deputy President and the Nairobi Woman Representative, among other leaders, in search of help.

“My wife's condition is very serious and she cannot stay in an environment outside hospital,” he said, adding that ALS was a rare ailment that required round-the-clock care.

Kahiga urged the hospital not to discharge his wife pending negotiations over how best he could reduce the money owed.

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Nairobi West HospitalTeachers Service CommissionJoseph Kahigahospital billhospital discharge