Bills pile for mother, child with heart condition in India
When Florence Akinyi Omollo gave birth to her lovely daughter on December 29, 2019, she was overjoyed.
Her joy was however short-lived as the daughter, Everlyne Tiffany Owino, started developing chest problems that persisted.
It has been one painful hospital journey of 20 months.
Determined to get the best and affordable treatment for the daughter, she flew to New Delhi, India on October 3 with her daughter.
The girl was to undergo an open heart surgery at New Delhi’s Fortis Escort Heart Institute (FEHI).
Since they were to be there for about three months with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) having committed to pay Sh500,000 as part of the bill, she decided to travel while her husband, a mechanic in Umoja Innercore, mobilised funds through friends and relatives. She was wrong.
On reaching India, Akinyi, and her daughter, pictured, was surprised to learn the entire treatment would cost Sh1 million, double the Sh500,000 NHIF had committed to pay.
But since October 3, the girl has not been admitted due to lack of hospital fees.
On October 6, the FEHI wrote back confirming they had received the NHIF’s Guarantee of Payment (GOP) but noted the “estimated cost was higher than the GOP”.
Akinyi is now forced to stay in an affordable hotel in New Delhi with her sick daughter, who cannot eat and only suckles or takes blended fruits. Akinyi maintains nothing can stop her from finding the strength and hope.
“I can’t fix the problem my daughter is facing, but I have made a decision that she will not have to face it alone,” she said.
The decision to move to India was as a result of the doctors warning them that time was running out, and that the surgery had to be done before the end of October.
With the little funds they had, a decision with the husband she travels with the baby as he remained in Nairobi to organise for funds. The return ticket cost Sh94,000
“Due to the complexity of the case and severe PAH (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension), the baby has been referred abroad where the pulmonary measures can be managed,” wrote KNH’s Dr Naomi Gachara, the KNH’s Paediatric Cardiologist.
On September 22, the NHIF, after assessment, wrote to FEHI committing to pay part of the hospital fee.
“NHIF is undertaking to pay up to Sh500,000 which is equivalent to USD4533.50 for the procedure.
The bills are payable upon submission of a print out of this Guarantee of Payment, copies of the Visa entry immigration stamps, hospital bills, account statements, discharge summary, bank details and medical reports,” NHIF’s Judith Karimi Otele wrote to the hospital. The family is targetting Sh1 million for the operation.
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