, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) had undertaken major restructuring as its management seeks to streamline operations and improve delivery of healthcare services.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Lesiyampe said KNH has re-organised its management hierarchy to spread out responsibilities to the rest of the staff.
“Every individual employee will take responsibility and is accountable in management of our patients. It is an opportunity for our employees to be innovative and creative in their work,” he asserted.
The new structure has only three managerial positions at the apex of the organisation and Lesiyampe said KNH would now reach out to the private sector with a proper partnership plan which will see new branches opened in Ongata Rongai and Kitengela.
KNH is the main referral hospital in Kenya which also serves about six countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
According to Lesiyampe, the hospital attends to over 2,000 patients daily and over half a million patients annually.
The hospital that became a State corporation in 1987 now has 22 Critical Care Unit beds which the CEO said are too few as they are mostly fully occupied due to the high demand by patients with complications that require open heart surgery, kidney transplants and neuro-surgeries.
The hospital is also grappling with open heart surgeries after the catheterisation laboratory broke down three years ago, against a budget of Sh100 million required to repair it.
Despite getting a boost recently in renal services enabling the hospital to do kidney transplants, 17 patients are yet to be attended to due to lack of theatre space and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities at KNH.
“KNH attends to 40 percent of the patients who require day care surgery. These are the patients who are kept on booking and re-booking for even more than a year awaiting available bed for admission,” he explained, “the hospital requires a day care centre which will require Sh270 million for its construction and equipping.”
The hospital is also incapacitated to handle the worrying rising cancer levels in the country with about 80, 000 new cases reported annually.
“KNH handles 3,000 to 4,000 cancer cases patients per year. The equipment we have can hardly cope with the high numbers of cancer patients. About 160 patients diagnosed with cancer undergo radiotherapy every day,” he explained.
Lesiyampe also expressed concerns that there is a waiting list of over 250 cancer patients who have been booked up to August 2012 to go for radiotherapy due to lack of a linear accelerator that can cope with the rising number of cancer patients.
KNH is also constrained in its quest to care for babies who are born pre-maturely.
Other reforms the hospital is undertaking is computerization of its systems, recruitment of new staff and other reforms intended to make it ISO certified.