Sakaja orders the release of patients held in hospitals over unpaid bills

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

City governor Johnson Sakaja has ordered the release of all patients held in Nairobi County government hospitals after waiving their bills.

Sakaja said the waiver covered all Nairobi county government hospitals including Mama Lucy and Mbagathi, adding it was a Christmas gesture for patients to reunite with their families during this festive season.

Speaking during the lighting of the Christmas tree at City Hall, Sakaja observed that many hospitals continue to hold patients despite them recovering terming it as cruel, inhuman and degrading.

"Healthcare is a human right and when we support and uplift our people, the entire community benefits. I will treat this population with the dignity and respect they deserve," Sakaja said.

He added that hospital imprisonment is a violation of human rights that also comes with implications.

Hospital-acquired infections

"When a patient who has been discharged stays for long in the hospital, they may get hospital-acquired infections which are not always easily treatable," he added.

Sakaja observed that the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic plus the recent high cost of living have combined to cause extreme financial pain to millions of households.

"Detention of patients over unpaid medical bills won't make any difference even if they are held there for years. They will not be able to pay the money since they cannot afford it," he said.

At the same time, the Nairobi County boss thanked those who donated food and clothing to the vulnerable and urged residents of Nairobi to extend their love to those who don't have.

He further donated Sh1 million towards giving a smile to vulnerable families in children's homes across the county.

Sakaja further noted that his administration would put structures in place that will see his county officers be sensitised on the value of rendering good service to city residents.

He later joined city residents at Uhuru Park Gardens to watch the finals of World Cup finals between Argentina and France to mark the end of the week-long Nairobi Festival.