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How Kenyan doctors are exploiting cancer patients
By Ida Vethi | Updated Nov 01, 2018 at 15:26 EAT
Photo [Courtesy]

Outside the doctor’s office is a reception area crowded with tens of cancer-dying Kenyans

Interestingly enough, it's emerged that Kenyan doctors are colluding with Indian hospitals

From the dreadful prostate, liver, duodenum, lymphoma, skin, bone, breast, lung, kidney, throat and other malignant cancers, the disease is spreading in Kenya like bonfire. And it's not only affecting the urbanites, the villagers are not also spared.

Evidence of cancer scourge can be seen as you visit major hospitals like the Agha Khan, Nairobi West, Mater, Nairobi Hospital, Kenyatta hospital and provincial hospitals too.

Oblivious to what is going on, is a string of hematologists, urologists, neurologists and oncologists minting millions from seriously sick cancer patients, mostly misdiagnosed from unrelated ailments, with months of attending doctor visits and parting with Sh5,000 for a 4 to 5 minutes consultancy fee.

Outside the doctor’s office is a reception area crowded with tens of cancer-dying Kenyans, hopeful to get a treatment solution to curb the ailments that is afflicting them.

On average, a doctor will collect over Sh100,000 in about an hour, before he hurriedly rushes to several other make-shift offices, after spending 2 hours in a government hospital.

Interestingly enough, it's emerged that Kenyan doctors are colluding with Indian hospitals and doctors to ship as many cancer patients from Kenya, as they get a 10% commission from the total bill paid by the poor patients.

And because Kenyans have lost trust in them, Kenyan doctors are now making suspicious and unbelievable arrangements to make Kenyans complete their chemotherapy at Nairobi hospitals, so that they can under-dose or even dilute the medicine bought from Indian hospitals and innocently taken in custody by Kenyan doctors.

No doubt that the medical profession has become the talk of the town by Kenyan patients who have had to narrate their experiences with Kenyan doctors. Stories of greed, lack of professional ethics and worship has bedeviled one of the most respected career that so many wished they had chosen.

On my other visit to International Patient Lodges of Adyar Cancer, Fortis, Max Healthcare, Apollo, BLK Specialty hospitals, I met several patients with gory details of how they spent millions of shillings in Kenyan hospitals only to learn later that they were being treated for the wrong disease.

Met this lady from Webuye who had brought her sister who had stage 4 liver cancer. A Kenyan doctor drilled a hole in the liver and by the time they sought for a second opinion in India, the liver was so infected that the hospital couldn't touch her.

She was given to take home to die. Another lady was treated for breast cancer for two years and after the doctor had had enough of her, pocketing millions, she advised her to just go home and enjoy her last days in the comfort of her rural home.

Today, she has been treated and just completed her last chemo. And surprisingly, every time a Kenyan doctor visits India, he or she is coming to pick up his or her cut, which cannot be sent to her otherwise hospitals could be charged in court for money laundering.

Medical brokers are everywhere in Kenya and India. There is a company that arranges for your travel from passport and visa processing to hospital and hotel stay, all for huge fee. Things you can do by yourself.

Admirably so, there are a group of Kenyan women seniors who have beaten the odds by encouraging their Chama members to visit especially Apollo Indraprastha Hospital for full body check up every year, instead of relying on Kenyans hospitals, and the impact has been interesting.

Out of the twenty or so, half of them are given a clean bill of health. These knowledgeable women have gone beyond buying water tanks and household utensils to improving their health. There is always a group of twenty women ranging between 50 and 75 years old who visit India in twice or thrice a year, with a known Kenyan broker milking them to the toe.

If the current attitude of Kenyan doctors towards their patients doesn't change, if the tips of their greed is not cut in the bud, a majority of Kenyans who wallow in poverty, and forgotten and neglected by their own government, the cancer menace will wipe us out than HIV Aids did over twenty years ago.

But I commend a few, just a few Kenyan doctors who treat their patients not like bundles of notes, but like human beings as their professional ethics demand. 

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