No person should be asked to make a deposit in any hospital prior to being offered emergency health services.
In a letter addressed to the Cabinet Secretary for Health on the status of ICU beds in Nairobi, The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) has warned hospitals against demanding deposit money as the number of Covid-19 patients in need of critical care increases.
The letter dated March 23 and signed by Daniel Yumbya, the Council's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said it is worrying that most hospitals are demanding deposit, before treating patients.
Hospitals charging deposit fees for ICU beds before admitting patients in Nairobi include Nairobi Hospital, Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH), Nairobi West Hospital and MP Shah Hospital.
MP Shah Hospital charges the highest amount of deposit as compared to other government and private hospitals in the city.
A patient is charged Sh650,000 in deposit for any of its six ICU beds which are currently all occupied.
At Nairobi Hospital, Sh130,000 to Sh300,000 is required in deposit for any of the 36 ICU beds in the hospital. All are occupied.
Nairobi West Hospital's ICU is half full. 23 out of its 46 ICU beds are occupied. Sh300,000 is required as deposit.
The KUTRRH with a total of 32 ICU beds that are full to capacity requires a deposit of Sh200,000.
KNH is the only facility in the capital city that does not demand for deposit to guarantee admission and treatment of patients. It has a total of 86 ICU beds, which are fully occupied.
According to the Health Ministry's daily Covid-19 situation report, as at march 24, at least 1,073 patients are admitted in various hospitals across the country, out of which, 141 were admitted in ICU, 34 on ventilatory support machines and 99 on supplementary oxygen.
Eighteen deaths had been reported bringing Kenya's death toll to 2,066.