NAIROBI, August 13 – The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board reported Tuesday that it had prepared doctors’ fee guidelines for use by private practitioners.
Chairman, Professor Julius Kyambi, said this would ensure patients were not overcharged while seeking treatment.
He said that the board had so far registered and licensed 1,165 private and mission medical institutions.
“The board is in the process of reviewing the doctors’ code of professional conduct and discipline, and we hope to complete the review by mid next year,” Kyambi added.
Speaking at the launch of the Board’s five-year strategic plan, Kyambi said that they had also approved 28 internship centres and 12 more would be approved by the end of the year.
At the same time Medical Services Permanent Secretary, Hezron Nyangito urged the medical practitioners to adjust their fees downwards to encourage more people to seek their services.
“And I’m saying this because as a country we are losing heavily in terms of attracting people to come and use our facilities, and we have high class facilities. I have sometimes heard people saying one of the most challenging aspects is neither the facilities nor the knowledge but the fee that is charged,” Nyangito stated.
The board is also in the process of establishing a Kenya Professions Health Authority to bring together four medical bodies for effective handling of disciplinary measures, according to its Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Yumbya.
Yumbya said that they want to merge the Nursing Council, Clinical Officers’ body, Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the Radiation Protection Board to be under one umbrella body.
“When we are trying these cases we sometimes find nurses were involved, clinical officers, but we cannot discipline them because it has to go to their respective bodies.”
“In fact one of the strategies is to ensure this body is in place and disciplinary measures are handled effectively and collectively.”
Medical Services Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana reiterated that the Ministry was in the process of unifying all the medical regulatory authorities under one Act.
“This will ensure discipline not only for doctors and nurses but for every person who is involved in the practise of medicine, so that when we are establishing the standards it’s done across the board,” added the Assistant Minister.
Meanwhile, Medical Services Minister Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o emphasised the need for medical practitioners to provide high quality health care that is safe and ethical.
Nyong’o said Kenya could not become a regional health provider unless the ethical standards and discipline in the profession improved.
He noted that three doctors had already been suspended from practice for up to three years and 275 disciplinary matters were being investigated by the board.
“We need to join hands to make sure that the institutions we put in place live up to the standards of the oaths that the doctors swear when they enter into the profession.”
Nyong’o said private health practitioners also needed to move from individual to collective practice for better service delivery.