Doctors oppose State plan to limit medical fees for patients

Kenya Medical Association President Dr.Jacqueline Ktulu (Left) converse with Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union Secretary General Dr.Ouma Olunga (Right) after press conferences on 5th January 2018 at Kenya Medical Association(KMA),They support Universal Health Coverage(UHC). [Photo: Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

An attempt by the government to limit what doctors charge patients has been met with resistance by the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) saying they will not comply.

The Association has resolved not to attend a meeting slated for Tuesday convened by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (MPDB) to have doctors’ fees reviewed.

Similarly, KMA President Jacqueline Kitulu has asked members not to attend the meeting. Dr Kitulu said the process governing the Private Practice Professional Fees has not been transparent.

“We consider it (the process) as rushed and with inadequate input from professionals,” she said. The doctors had convened a meeting yesterday to deliberate on several issues among them medical fees, before they emerged out with the strong stand.

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The National Assembly Health Committee had in December 2018 given the MPDB one month to revise doctors fees.

The directive was informed by cases the Committee chaired by Murang’a County Woman Representative Sabina Chege had received especially private hospitals charging patients exorbitant fees.

One of the cases, which ignited this debate is that of Matilda Anyango whose family was slapped with a medical bill of more than Sh800,000 at MP Shah Hospital after a 12 hour stay in the Intensive Care Unit before she passed on.

The KMA president said they are willing to enter into a broad discussion on total cost of healthcare, not limited to private practitioner’s fee.

“We therefore shall not participate in the stakeholders' meeting scheduled for January 8 and advise all our members to stay away,” Kitulu said.

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Part of the plan by the government through Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is to have a standard fee for all medical procedures that should be adopted by public and private healthcare providers.

However, Kitulu said the government should come out and clarify the relationship between UHC and private healthcare providers.

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KMAMPDBJacqueline KituluDoctorsMedical fees