Uasin Gishu Dialysis Patients Struggle as RUPHA Adjustments Take Effect

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“I can barely afford one session, let alone the three I need each week. I fear the worst if I miss treatment.”

A kidney patient in Western Kenya undergoing dialysis/Business daily

A comprehensive investigation by Hubzmedia has brought to light significant concerns among kidney patients in Uasin Gishu, grappling with new fees imposed by the Rural Private Hospitals Association of Kenya (RUPHA) since December 20th.

These adjustments, designed to sustain uninterrupted healthcare services, have notably impacted vulnerable populations, placing an increased financial burden on dialysis treatments.

Jane Kiprop, a dialysis patient at one of the  private Hospitals, shared her distress, stating, “With the new Kshs 1,000 fee per outpatient visit, I can barely afford one session, let alone the three I need each week. I fear the worst if I miss treatment.” Jane’s sentiments echo across Uasin Gishu, where patients like her are scrambling to adapt to additional costs for admissions, surgeries, and other critical procedures.

Dr. Brian Lishenga, the head of The Comprehensive Care Society, acknowledges the challenges, emphasizing, “We understand the hardship these adjustments bring, but the delays in NHIF payments threaten our ability to provide even basic care.” The notice released by RUPHA reflects this sentiment, stating, “We deeply regret any inconvenience, but these measures are crucial for sustaining life-saving services during this challenging period.”

The impact on pregnant women enrolled in the Linda Mama scheme is also a cause for concern. The new procedure fees for deliveries, particularly Caesarean sections, raise fears of reduced access to safe childbirth. Mary Adero, expecting her first child, confided, “This extra cost adds immense stress to an already anxious time. What if I can’t afford the surgery when it’s needed?”

In the broader context, it’s worth noting that approximately 8,000 kidney patients are undergoing dialysis sessions at KNH, each spending Sh5,000 per session. The treatment costs between Sh7,500 and Sh9,000 per session at private hospitals. Additionally, life expectancy on dialysis varies depending on other medical conditions and how well individuals follow their treatment plan.

While RUPHA encourages open communication and urges patients to seek clarification from hospital administrations, some worry this may not be sufficient. John Otieno, whose father needs cancer treatment, remarked, “Transparency is good, but concrete solutions are better. Subsidies for vulnerable groups or flexible payment options could ease the burden.”

As RUPHA navigates this complex situation, prioritizing clear communication, exploring support mechanisms for vulnerable populations, and collaborating with NHIF will be crucial to ensure continued access to quality healthcare for all.

 

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