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Gideon wants medical fees for terminal diseases lifted

Health & Science - By Julius Chepkwony | May 21st 2017 at 12:14:05 GMT +0300
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (second right) consoles the family of the late Julia Kigen at Kambi Moi in Eldama Ravine on Saturday. Kigen succumbed to cancer a month ago at St Luke Hospital in Eldoret. [Suleiman Mbatiah, Standard]

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has expressed his concern over bodies detained in morgues on grounds that families fail to raise medical fees.

Gideon Saturday said the government should take up the matter and enact a law to waive such bills, especially in cases where terminal illnesses are involved.

He spoke at Kambi Moi in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, when he visited a family, whose mother’s body has been held in an Eldoret hospital for a month after failing to clear a Sh1.85 million medical fee.

Sigh of relief

The visit by the Senator brought a sigh of relief to the family of the late Juliah Kigen who died on April 5. Gideonwas on his way to another function when he decided to make a stop-over. He had earlier donated Sh300,000 towards the hospital bill. The family has held three fundraisers and collected Sh891,000.

Gideon said he would take care of the medical bill and asked the family to prepare for the burial.

“It’s painful to lose a mother, it’s even more painful the family has not laid her to rest. I have heard your cries and I direct you to prepare for the burial and leave the rest to me as your leader,” he said.

Family members said Kigen succumbed to cancer of the blood at St Luke Hospital in Eldoret.

Francis Kimutai said their mother started ailing in June last year. They took her to Kijabe Hospital where she was admitted to the intensive care unit for a month after she was diagnosed with cancer of the blood.

The family took her back home when her condition improved. However, at the beginning of this year, her condition deteriorated and she was again admitted to the ICU at St Luke Hospital.

“Our mother stayed in the ICU for over 40 days and each day we had to pay Sh50,000 medical fee,” said Kimutai. The bill had escalated to Sh1.85 million by the time Kigen passed on.

Kimutai said they tried negotiating with the hospital to release the body but the facility would hear none of it, even rejecting a collateral the family proposed to give. He said the hospital demanded payment in cash before it could release the body.

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