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Providing medical care is an exercise in patience

By Ishaq Jumbe | April 17th 2019 at 02:52:06 GMT +0300

Situated right at the heart of the Kisauni junction along the Malindi highway, Jocham Hospital is a beehive of activity. Besides the many people who are taken care of at the hospital on a daily basis, emergency cases from the expressway leading from Mombasa to the North coast almost always end up there.

For the past 17 years they have been stabilising accident victims and referring them to the Coast Provincial Hospital at Makadara as private hospitals in the region hardly ever have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a capacity of more than four beds.

Jocham Hospital Chief Administrator, James Obuya

It is in the background of these challenges that the Hospital Chief Administrator, James Obuya spearheaded an expansion project that recently launched a seven-bed, state of the art ICU that is the hallmark of their end-to-end care vision. In it, they are investing hundreds of millions to build an effective all-round health care system.

Hustle spoke to James Obuya and he shared tips on succeeding in the high stakes game of selling an ultramodern service at rock bottom rates.

Keep your charges affordable

The misconception that quality has to be expensive has wreaked havoc for the poor who unfortunately have been deprived of decent healthcare for so long. Our service offers personalized care at modest prices.

Even though we have invested in state of the art equipment in all departments, we ensure that we hardly go overboard when it comes to charging our clients. As we process many referrals in our radiology department and MRI center we charge the basic NHIF rates.

Even our dialysis charges are only Sh7,500 includes consultation, investigation and well as drugs and the actual dialysis. Our clients appreciate the rapport we have built with them over the years, and this is the motivation for our continued growth.

That is why today we are comfortably offering service to clients all the way from Hola, Tana River, Kilifi and many other far flung areas who get sent to Jocham for these services.

And this is a policy that has served us well over the years as our facility has been steadily expanding since its inception.

Focus on growth

The healthcare industry is technologically advancing steadily. If a health care provider is to be taken seriously, they should ensure their services keep improving to meet the new health challenges emerging every day.

We have over the years been grappling with intensive care and for the past three years, have invested over Sh300 million in the construction of an ICU unit department that meets global standards. Many of the cases we have had to grapple with in the past are as a result of our location as a hospital situated along a busy expressway.

We also have had to deal with attempted suicides as people who jump over the bridge and are rescued and rushed to our facility for emergency care.

What used to be our critical care unit is today a fully-fledged ICU center with a seven bed capacity that makes it the biggest such facility in any private hospital in the region.

In the past we could only stabilize patients and refer them to Makadara. But today we are proud to announce that we have the capacity to deal with all sorts of emergency intensive healthcare.

Keep your eye on the goal

Since we launched an ambitious expansion project, administration in this hospital has been working on numerous programs. Besides the high capacity generator that we recently installed, we also have a new oxygen regeneration plant that connects right into the wards. We also brought in more equipment for physiotherapy and occupational therapy department. What may be most noticeable perhaps is our new 24 ward private wing. Four of these are deluxe with a balcony, smart TV as well as furniture and the necessary appliances. We keep them as homely as possible for the price some of the high end luxury apartments charge per day.

We are also in the process of constructing a mental facility and a pediatric unit complete with a playground so that our hospital becomes an all-round healthcare facility.

Do not compromise on quality

Even as we hail our new ICU department as a milestone in this hospital, we are proud to say that everything about it including the design is up there with the best. It’s modelled after a cubicle concept to keep all cases private with a nursing station accessing all the units. We have installed ventilators, smart drug infusion syringe pumps, centralized and bedside patient monitoring systems among other equipment. We also ensure that we have assigned two nurses for every patient. In short, so as to effectively serve the community, we did not cut costs as we believe that is tantamount to shortchanging our clients.

Keep track of your expenses

There would be no point in launching projects unless there is a plan to sustain them in the long run. Remember, this is a risky venture, dependent on so many other factors to make it work. Besides the hundreds of millions of investments, there are commitments to pay and a balance struck to ensure all participants get paid.

In a case such as ours where we are committed to take in all who are brought in especially in an emergency, we have to forgo the cost and focus on resuscitation.

And remember we are talking about someone who gets attended by nurses and specialists all of whom depend on their career for their livelihood. Therefore, the delicate balancing act between those patients who can afford their healthcare and those who are not medically and financially predisposed to meeting their healthcare expenses is the reality we have to face every day.

Serve with impartiality

The poor and the rich alike fall sick and require healthcare. All should be given an equal opportunity without the divide compromising on quality of service offered. It is only when a healthcare facility can achieve that level of professionalism that clients can trust a hospital. Without establishing this trust, a hospital could never grow.  

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