A major challenge in the delivery of medical care in the country has been lack of ease of accessibility to healthcare services. In some rural areas in Kenya, patients still have to travel long distances to reach health centres. This especially becomes challenging when trying to access specialized healthcare services like cardiac treatment.
With this, the Karen Hospital last week officially launched a new clinic in Thika, a move aimed at improving access to quality and affordable healthcare services at the County of Kiambu and its surrounding areas.
The new satellite clinic, which is among 10 other Karen Hospital clinics located in various counties, is part of a strategic expansion plan by the hospital to provide access to affordable healthcare at the county level and compliment the government effort to devolve services to the Kenyan population in a manner responsive to their needs.
“We recognize both the opportunity and responsibility in our hands as we address the challenges limiting access to quality and affordable healthcare services in our society as we play our role in providing services to the community. The Karen Hospital will continue to redefine its service delivery strategy in order to expand our footprint to enable us reach more Kenyans in ways that meet their healthcare needs,” said The Karen Hospital CEO, Dr. Betty Gikonyo.
Better access to healthcare services
The new satellite clinic, which is conveniently located at Maisha Heights at the centre of Thika town, is expected to provide the residents of Kiambu County and its environs with general consultation, radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology services among others. In addition, cardiac patients will have easy access to specialised cardiac screening, treatment and care.
Speaking during the event, Mr. Michael Njau, NHIF Thika Branch Manager, noted the important role that private healthcare providers were playing in partnership with NHIF and other public sector institutions to provide quality and subsidized services to Kenyans including performing complex surgeries that previously were inaccessible to Kenyans. He urged private partners in the health sector to continue expanding their reach across the country to ensure that more people can continue to have access to quality health services.
“For the last few years, Kenya’s healthcare has been undergoing a metamorphosis. Real change has however been witnessed in the last two years when NHIF increased monthly contributions to the Fund. Since then, paid up members have been able to access both inpatient and outpatient services from various hospitals across the country,” said Njau.
In order to ensure affordability of healthcare services, The Karen Hospital has also partnered with NHIF in other programmes including the Cardiac Program to address both financial and clinical hurdles faced by Kenyans by utilizing local expertise of doctors and state-of-the-art medical equipment found locally. The program is expected to tackle the problem of cardiac diseases and is aimed at reducing the waiting period for heart patients at affordable cost.
The cardiac programme is only one of the benefits the public can now access from NHIF. The national insurer package also caters for an expanded free maternity programme, outpatient and inpatient services, renal dialysis and a number of chronic illnesses.