Counties

Push for city hospital to free patients held over bills

Two civil society groups are demanding the release of 12 patients detained at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital for inability to pay their medical bills, saying detention of patients is against the law.

The Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) and the Centre for Reproductive Rights want the Health ministry to take necessary steps to protect patients from detention in health facilities including by developing clear procedures for implementing the waiver system.

“Nairobi Women’s Hospital must release the men and women held at their facility with immediate effect and apologise to them,” said Fida executive director, Teresa Omondi.

“The government must ensure that health facilities are regulated so that they do not become places of detention and violation of patients’ constitutional rights.”

The detention at the hospital’s Ongata Rongai branch was revealed by an NTV report last week.

Senior Regional Director for Africa at the Centre for Reproductive Rights, Evelyne Opondo said detention had gone on for over 10 years.