The Ministry of Health has ordered the closure of more than 800 health facilities for allegedly failing to meet minimum standards for licensure.
This was after the ministry and regulatory bodies under the coordination of the Kenya Health Professionals Oversight Authority (KHPOA) conducted a joint inspection.
The inspection was conducted for purposes of categorisation and classification of facilities from February 2019 to August 2019, in accordance with the law.
Acting Director-General for Health Wekesa Masasabi said their survey was based on the services offered, the health infrastructure and health personnel minimum standards as per the Medal Practitioners and Dentist Board Act.
“The attached list of facilities did not meet the minimum standards for licensure and were, therefore, ordered to be closed until such a time they comply with the minimum standards and apply to the relevant regulatory bodies for re-inspection,” said Dr Masasabi.
He made the plea in a letter to the Council of Governors and copied to Principal Secretary, CEO for KHPOA, National Hospital Insurance Fund CEO and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) boss.
The health sector was the largest service sector to be devolved in the new governance structure.
At least 92 facilities in Nairobi are scheduled for closure. They include a branch of Aga Khan University Hospital in Roysambu.
The facility, based at Jewel Plaza in Roysambu, is known to offer specialised services to patients in need of dialysis.
Another key facility that will be closed is Mariakani Cottage Hospital based in Utawala, Nairobi.
Mariakani is an extension of Umoja Medical Clinic, and has its fair priced maternity services as its selling point.
In the neighbouring Machakos County, another 48 are targeted.
Extended to labs
The closure was extended to laboratories, diagnostics and drug dispensing facilities. These include Sigma Medical and Lab Services, Meka Chemist and Hope Dental and Chemist in Nairobi.
In Machakos, The Chemist (Kwa Mangeli), The Chemist (Kaiti Complex 2001 building), Wamunyu Pharma Chemist, Jeslas Chemist, Maiuni Chemist, Matuu Imaging Centre, Everlast Chemist and Lab, were among those closed.
A statement from KMPDC indicated that it supported the closure of the facilities listed and clarified that all health regulatory boards and councils carried out a joint countrywide inspection.
In Nyanza, 34 private health clinics are lined up for closure, according to the list released by the ministry. Of these, 12 are in Kisumu, six in Homa Bay, five in Kisii, Nyamira (four), Siaya (four) and Migori (three).
A spot check by The Standard in Kisumu revealed that a number of the hospitals were operational despite the notice.
At St Vincent De Paul Community Clinic in Obunga, Fred Aluoch, the facility's administrator, denied knowledge of the notice.
He, however, admitted to having received assessors from the ministry, who raised issues with their sanitation and poor infrastructure some time back.
At Global Providers International Clinic in Kisumu's Manyatta slums, operations were ongoing, despite being in the ministry's list.
Clinical Officer Linda Odundo could not confirm or deny having any knowledge of the ministry's closure order.
At Amambo Medical Centre at United Mall on Kisumu-Kakamega Road, operations were ongoing.
David Mregi, the hospital administrator, claimed that the facility was erroneously listed by the ministry.
At Hope for Widows and Children (Howic) Foundation Town Clinic in Kisumu town work was ongoing even though the owners insisted they had obeyed the orders to shut it.
Proprietor Joseph Obiero confirmed that he received the closure communication from the ministry and proceeded to effect it.
In Homa Bay, the ministry shut down six health facilities.
They are Atlas Medical and Dentist Clinic, Mediocare Medical Clinic, Adiedo Medical Centre, Kosele Medical Centre and Mativas Medical Centre.
A spot-check revealed that Atlas Medical and Dentist Clinic was still operating.
The clinic's proprietor John Natala said he had not received information about closure of the facility.
At Mediocare Medical Clinic, the proprietor Kennedy Abende said he had closed down the facility four months ago.
Adoma Medical Clinic in Awendo, Bahati Medical in Migori and Elshadai Medical had been served with closure notices.
[Graham Kajilwa, Cyrus Ombati, Kevin Omollo, James Omoro and Caleb Kingwara]