New parliament to review what hospitals will charge


The Nairobi Hospital entrance. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The new parliament has been tasked with the pending review of hospital charges including professional fees, cost of medicines, hospitality and medical devices among others.

The outgoing health team tasked the 13th Parliament to take over the review of the general cost of healthcare with a view to lowering charges.

“The committee recommends review of the general costs of healthcare in the country, including components of professional fees, cost of medicines, hospitality and medical devices, which will contribute towards lower healthcare costs,” said the team, chaired by former Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege.

The committee made the recommendations after the House failed to pass a Bill, which was to grant the State powers to control medical bills and doctors’ fees.

The National Assembly Committee on Health had approved the proposed amendments to the Health Act 2017 that will see medical charges determined and capped by an 11-member council that includes the Principal Secretary for Health and the Attorney-General.

The Health Amendment Bill, National Assembly Bill No 14 of 2021 targeted to amend Section 31 of the Health Act of 2017 to have the Kenya Health Human Resource Advisory Council (KHHRAC) determine prices for medical services and doctor’s consultation fees.

KHHRAC currently handles the human resource function in the public healthcare system, including the posting and transfers of doctors, nurses, and other medical specialists.

The proposed changes to the law would have made it a crime for private and public health facilities to demand a down payment as a condition for providing emergency medical services.

“Overall, the key cost drivers were attributed to costs in the following areas--professional fees, procedure fees, hospitality fees, home-based visitation fees, taxation, licensing and insurance fees,” the committee said in a report tabled in the House.

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