Health

Penda Health set to spend Sh115 million on expansion

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Penda Health, general manager Kenya, Marion Kago. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Private medical services provider Penda Health plans to invest about Sh115 million in expansion to run until next year as it plans to cut staff under support services.

The health centre will add three branches this year and five more next year on the Coast, eastern, central and Rift Valley regions through an investment by venture capitalists and partners.

The care service provider said it will also undertake a restructuring programme that will affect between 20 and 80 employees as the hospital moves to focus on provision of healthcare, investment in technology and sustainability of the business.

“We are consolidating our business this year. We want to focus on our core business which is primary healthcare and investments in technology to enhance services and aid in sustainability,’’ Penda Health, general manager Kenya, Marion Kago said.

“Looking at our numbers, the pandemic has hit us hard as the number of patients went down. We want to make the whole network more sustainable. We want to be able to expand, making it leaner and more stable so that we reach more patients.’’

The expansion drive will see the hospital raise its centres to 30 from the current 22 centres majorly targeting neighbourhoods after a recent re-opening of in-network referral centre in Nairobi’s CBD. The health centres has over 400 staff.

The pandemic saw hospitals report declined health claims and walk-ins patients as people avoided going to hospitals in fear of contracting the coronavirus and government issued regulations such as deferment of elective surgeries that were later suspended.

As a result, Penda Health registered 40 per cent decline in the patients to about 500 per day from an average high 1200 per day during pre-Covid period.

Ms Kago said the restructuring process will affect departments that are not core and outside of nursing, pharmacy, lab and clinical, and reskill and outsource the other functions.

“We are trying to see if we can fit the staff that will be exiting in the organisation to make a minimum loss. We are also negotiating with the companies we will outsource service and see if they are can absorb them,” she added.

The gap in provision of health care by the government has attracted high investment in the health sector.

Medical franchise of Equity Group, Equity Afia, has recently added five centres in South B, Ngong Road, Kitui, Juja and Pangani bringing its franchise network to 41.