Why several health insurers have suspended services at Nairobi Women’s Hospital


January 26th 2020, a local daily, in a damning expose detailed events that showed how the Nairobi Women’s Hospital milked its patients dry as it strives to meet targets.

The hospital was exposed for unnecessarily admitting, delaying discharge of patients as well as inflating costs, all in a bid to meet daily profit targets.

Days later, the hospital came out to state its position over the matter.

In a press statement, the hospital noted that for close to two decades, it has provided affordable and quality healthcare services to Kenyans.

“Today it has nine fully fledged hospitals in Nairobi, Kajiado, Nakuru, Meru and Mombasa counties providing a wide range of outpatient and inpatient services. There are plans to expand to other counties.” It noted.

On the allegations, the hospital has noted that it has now launched an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.

“We have noted with a lot of concern reports appearing on various media platforms in the recent past suggesting that there is some systematic approach by the hospital to unfairly generate revenue from patients. Although we don’t believe this is the case, and in fact it is antithetical to out foundational principles, we take these allegations very seriously and are conducting an internal review as well as cooperating with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council as they carry out their independent review,” the statement from Nairobi Women’s Hospital read in part.

Meanwhile, several insurance companies have moved to advise its clients against seeking medical services at the hospital terming the move as an ‘administrative concern’.

“We bring to your attention that we have suspended services at Nairobi Women’s Hospital and all its branches for all our members due to operational challenges.” A statement from AAR insurance noted.

The suspension takes effect from 5th February 2020. This applies to both reimbursements in and out patient claims.

“We are committed to offering you unparalleled medical insurance services through our expansive panel of over 1000 provider partners,” the underwriter said.

CIC group has also suspended its services at the hospital starting today (5th February 2020) citing ‘administrative concerns’.

“Due to some administrative concerns, we wish to notify you that services at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital will be suspended effective 5th February 2020. As we work towards the resolution of the concerns, you may continue to access services from any of our accredited providers…” CIC group advised.

Similar sentiments were also echoed by Old Mutual who advised its clients that due to ‘administrative concerns’, credit services at the hospital have been suspended effective 5th February 2020.

“We request you to seek services from alternative hospitals in our provider panel…kindly note that cash payments to the hospital may not be eligible for reimbursement.” A statement to its clients read in part.

The Nairobi Women’s Hospital is a 479 bed modern hospital serving over 300,000 outpatients and 120,000 inpatient customers annually. The hospital has been operational for more than 17 years.

The hospital also has a charitable trust dubbed the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC), which was founded in March 2001. GVRC’s main purpose is to bring back meaning to the lives and families of survivors of sexual and gender based violence by providing free medical treatment and psychosocial support. Since inception GVRC has supported over 43,000 survivors. GVRC has been instrumental in National Legislation enactment in the field of gender based violence more so on the Sexual Offenses Act 2006 policy.

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Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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