Senators raise red flag on rise in medical negligence cases
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Senators have raised a red flag over the rise in cases of medical negligence and malpractice by “unmotivated and ill-equipped” healthcare workers.
The lawmakers, cited a case of Peter Kigen, a resident of Bureti constituency, who was presumed dead and his body transferred to the hospital’s mortuary for preservation, only for the patient to ‘resurrect’ during embalming.
Led by Nominated Senator Falhada Imana Dekow, the lawmakers want the medics at Kapkatet Sub-county Hospital who declared Kigen dead interdicted, and penalised for medical negligence.
Kigen, the man who grabbed headlines after he was presumed dead, however died on Thursday last week at Kericho County Hospital, after being transferred to the health facility from Kapkatet.
“State action, if any, be taken against medical staff at the Kapkatet Sub-county Hospital who erroneously declared him dead,” Dekow said in a statement to the Senate Health Committee.
Besides, the nominated lawmaker wants the committee chaired by Trans-Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito, to state the mechanism in place for reporting cases of medical negligence to the Ministry of Health and medical professional bodies by hospitals and members of the public.
Sharing their frustrations on the floor of the House on Thursday last week , her nominated counterpart Naomi Shiyonga alleged that medical personnel have become “very ignorant” when differentiating between the living and the dead.
“Action must be taken on whoever declared that patient dead while he was still alive,” she added.
Nominated Senator Naomi Waqo on her part said it is very unfortunate, that the incident happened at a time when the country is losing people to Covid-19 pandemic.
“This exposes a very negative side of the Ministry of Health and how the staff treat our people at the hospitals,” she said.
She added: “As we cry as a country, we know that our frontline workers are already suffering in many ways.
However, it will be good if they treat other human beings like human beings and give them the attention that they deserve.”
Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni said it is very painful for a person who is still breathing to be dumped at a mortuary.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula criticised governors for being silent on cases of medical negligence and malpractice by healthcare workers saying they are only very loud when complaining about money but silent on health issues.