Patients seeking specialised care services at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) are victims of mystery arising from the facility medical staffs' appetite for money, our investigations reveal.
The anguish is precipitated by business rivalry outside the hospital with at least three doctors being at the centre of deals where cash is exchanged for special care equipment.
Doctors at KTRH own companies that have struck gold in the patients' demand for surgical equipment.
Our investigations discovered that the very same doctors handling patients at the facility turn them into customers for the companies they own. They recommend their own companies to the patients and leave them to make independent choices.
KTRH staff with close ties with a trader with deals in China get the medical equipment imports at lower rates compared to their counterparts. They then hike the prices for a better harvest from the patients, we have learnt.
Given more patients would prefer cheaper equipment have an interest in the business, many have been turned away for not buying from the desired suppliers.
Ironically, documents in our possession reveal that two rival suppliers owned by the medical staff have all been sourcing their products from the same business lady with trade deals in China. They end up inflating the prices and those attracting fewer patients label the other dealers' as fake, an in-market control battle that hurting the patients.
In an internal memo dated 10, Septemeber 2019, the medical staff linked to the illicit patient-preneurship advised the facility Chief Executive Officer Dr Enock Ondari to look into five complaints relating to the quality of equipment supplied.
They also accused their colleagues of working closely with suppliers. They also raised concerns that most of the equipment were either incomplete or could not match with accessories. It also emerged that suppliers were intimidating surgeons over the business deals.
Ondari in an interview with Hivisasa said he will look into the matter.
"They are the experts in that field and I have received a letter advising me they are selling fake equipment. They will soon be suspended from supplying them. But I'll try to look it the concerns should I get a formal complaint," said the CEO in an interview.
A Doctor who requested anonymity contradicted Ondari's statement saying all surgical lists at the Orthopaedic section are approved by Ondari's Office through the secretary who stamps them before patients can proceed for surgery. He said this is a policy they have strictly adhered to.
A patient we spoke to said doctors have always demanded they return equipment and seek a refund from the suppliers while recommending them to specific ones.
"It took me a month to persuade doctors to use what I had. Some patients are usually chased out of the hospital whenever they make purchases from the unwanted seller who sales at lower prices," he says.
Governor James Ongwae's press officer, Isaac Ongiri, is yet to respond to questions raised even upon confirming receipt of the same complaints. The County Health CEC could not be reached for comment as sources had indicated she was out of the country.
The unscrupulous business outside the hospital with doctors aiming at making maximum profits had made poor patients struggle or quit treatment due to unprecedented business rivalry.