NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 15 – Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has said the besieged Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros and Director of Clinical Services Bernard Githae were not interdicted nor suspended over the brain surgery mix up but sent on compulsory leave as per the hospital’s regulations.
Kariuki who appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Health on Thursday to issue an investigation update on the subject said the move to send the two on mandatory leave was not done in bad faith.
“My actions and that of the board were strictly done in accordance with the hospital’s regulations,” said Kariuki.
Committee Chair Michael Mbito (Trans Nzoia) however sought to know the linkage between Koros and Githae on how they were involved in the mix up arguing that it was not captured in the report prepared by the ministry.
“The report does not clearly show how the two were involved in the mix up yet the two were sent on compulsory leave, how is that possible?” asked Maina.
Kariuki told members that the two were sent on compulsory leave because of a huge public outcry and most importantly to pave way for investigations.
“It was very important to restore the public confidence about the hospital and the two had to be away from the scene to allow investigations to be done. The hospital board constituted a special board committee to investigate the unintended surgery and the report has since been presented to my office,” said Kariuki.
Kariuki whose job was at stake after a section of Rift Valley lawmakers vowed to institute impeachment proceedings over her action, told the Senators that the hospital has since introduced a raft of measures that will avert future mix ups.
“The hospital management is in the process of procuring human marker pens to mark surgical sites on the patient and insert a template checklist of the human anatomy in the all patient files for highlighting of the affecting parts,” said Kariuki.
The hospital’s acting Chief Executive Officer Thomas Mutie who regretted the incident said despite the recent spot light on the hospital for all the wrong reasons, the hospital was doing its best to ensure Kenyans get good services.
“Some of the incidences that have dogged the hospital are unfortunate but the hospital generally strives to do it best to ensure that Kenyans get quality services,” said Mutie.
The hospital board Chairman Mark Bor also defended the hospital saying that it handles about 600,000 patients yearly and 2, 500 patients daily but it still tries to offer the best services to its patients.
“As a hospital our responsibility is to ensure that patients are satisfied with the services we offer and going forward the hospital will be keen to ensure that such mix ups do not happen again,” said Bor.