The government has announced the move to deny Kenyans without referral letters access to referral hospitals in the country.

The announcement comes shortly after the government revealed that 24 medical facilities will be established in Nairobi's informal settlements to offer 24-hour services to residents.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe made the revelation during the launch of the  Lang’ata Health Centre in Otiende on March 23, 2021.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe commissions a new CT-Scan facility at the Kenyatta National Hospital. |Photo| Courtesy|

He added that the facilities would help decongest referral hospitals in the country.

“Consequently, in three months’ time, when round-the-clock services are available at these facilities, it will no longer be possible to serve walk-in patients at any of the designated referral facilities,” Kagwe stated.

In his sentiments, the CS referenced the Nairobi Regeneration Report which indicated that 47 percent of patients treated at the Kenyatta National Hospital are walk-ins and most of them are during the night.

“KNH is supposed to be a referral facility, taking care of cases that require specialised treatment from across the country, which is why it’s national. The hospital is supposed to support other lower facilities whenever they need advanced care support. Unfortunately, this has not been the case,”  Kagwe reiterated.

He stated that there was a similar case at several other referral facilities across the county including Mama Lucy, Mbagathi, and Kenyatta University Hospital.

The CS revealed that the 24 facilities will have a bed capacity of about 1,000 and will offer 24-hour services in consultation, laboratory, maternity, and imaging.

Of the 24, 19 are being built from scratch while 5 are being renovated.