Breakdown of Recent Hospital Negligence Cases and Uhuru’s Way To Deal With Them

The cost of clinical negligence is soaring, with hospitals struggling under the increasing burden of compensation claims.

This trend has for long now engulfed the country with one case reported after the other.

Nurses and doctors from different hospitals have hit the headlines with their negligence rendering patients to struggle under their mercy.

Since 2018, cases involving hospital negligence include:

Early this year, a family made headlines after being awarded Sh46.5 million in a medical negligence lawsuit against The Nairobi Hospital.

High Court judge George Odunga ordered the hospital to pay Sh43,469,000 to Mr Jacob Oluochi Ondeko – who was a student at St Mary’s School in 2005 – and Sh1.1 million to each of his parents for a brain surgery gone wrong.

Mr Ondeko had gone for surgery to rectify a nasal fracture he sustained while playing basketball.

Also, Mater Hospital was this month found culpable of negligence and ordered to pay Sh2.4 million to a woman who suffered a perforated uterus and intestine while undergoing treatment at the facility.

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In June 2018, Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu was ordered to pay Sh3 million in damages to Ms Antonina Akinyi after surgical equipment was left inside her body.

Hundreds of doctors who have been found culpable have been sanctioned and some have even lost their licences.

Perhaps because of the rising cases of complaints against hospitals and practitioners, the Health Laws (Amendment) Bill — once MPs act on the offending clauses that were detailed in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s memo to Parliament — will require every practitioner to take a professional indemnity cover each year.

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The same will apply to health institutions to cover “against professional liability of its staff”.

Between May 2018 and February 22, 2019, at least four leading hospitals have been directed to pay victims of doctors’ negligence a total of Sh106.6 million.

In May last year Nairobi Women’s Hospital was ordered to pay Sh54.7 million to a woman whose child ended up suffering from cerebral palsy due to negligence during birth.

There have been efforts to have the figure reviewed.

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