KNH ordered to readvertise CEO position without ‘doctor’ restrictions


Former Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Lily Koros. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The High Court has ordered Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to cancel the hiring of chief executive officer and advertise the job afresh, saying after it excludes professionals who are not doctors from the position.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa ordered the Ministry of Health and KNH to advertise the position of CEO after suit citing discrimination.

“The respondents Kenyatta National Hospital hereby undertakes to cancel the recruitment and commence re-advertisement of the CEO and Secretary to the Board without the clause stating that the applicant be a registered medical practitioner,” the orders read in part.

In a January notice published in the dailies, the KNH —via audit firm Deloitte — said it was seeking a CEO who was expected to be a doctor or a dentist registered with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board among other qualifications.

The Health Systems Management Association (HeSMA) moved to court citing discrimination in the hiring procedure.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki sent Lily Koros on compulsory leave in March 2018 in the wake of a mix-up that resulted in brain surgery being performed on the wrong patient.

Ms Koros and her predecessor Simeon Lesiyampe were not doctors.

KNH chief executive job is considered one the hottest corner-office seats in Kenya's public service, the facility being a major referral hospital in the region.

Julius Meme, who served from 1992 to 1998, for instance, was promoted to Health principal secretary in 1999 while Mr Lesiyampe became Environment PS in 2013.

Ms Koros was in December hired as an administrative secretary at the Health ministry, marking the end of her term at the referral facility.

A number of occupants of top jobs at KNH such as director of clinical services are held by executives on acting capacity.