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Healthcare in Kenya Today


Date Posted: 12/15/2017 7:54:52 AM

Posted By: ROZA  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 961

Health care is the overall care given to an individual to ensure that all is well as far as their well being is concerned. Good health is every body’s right, both rich and poor, big and small and the young and old, without any exception.

For health care to be effective qualified doctors have to be available and willing to do their duties without being pushed. Health care in Kenya is not where it is supposed to be. This has been brought about by several problems.

The first one is the commercialization of health sector. This has been caused by individuals and even doctors who are engaging in medical tourism as a business. There are countries that have medical tourism as a ministry, which is a good thing, because so many Kenyans have benefited from this but these individuals have taken advantage of that. We have seen patients who have been misdiagnosed and taken to other countries for treatment only to be told that theirs was a minor illness. Commercialization of health sector has also been brought about by those doctors in the public sector but have their own private hospitals. They treat a patient then refer them to their own private hospitals for further treatment, sometimes exaggerating the patient's illness. Misdiagnosis by unqualified doctor has also been a major problem in Kenya. This has been a major cause of deaths that could have been avoided. The doctor/patient relationship has also been a problem in the health sector. Patients have been made to believe that they are at the mercy of doctors and doctors have taken that advantage and intimidated patients. When I was growing up, I used to fear doctors very much. Not because of the injections but it was because of the way I used to find them rude.

They didn't care even if you had been taken to the hospital by a grownup; they used to be rude to everybody. So one used to enter the consultation room in fear, not knowing whatever words will be thrown your way. So you cannot even explain whatever is ailing you well, leave alone ask any question.

But all is not lost, with several recommendations, there is still hope that health care in Kenya can improve. Firstly, a good relationship between the doctor and patient should be cultivated. An intimidated patient cannot explain his/her illness well, leading to misdiagnosis. The patient will then be treated for the wrong disease, not get well or even die because of something that could have been avoided. Doctors studied so as to take care of patients and there would be no doctors if there are no patients. Patients should not fear doctors because it is a give and take situation since doctors are paid for just that. But that does not mean that patients should not respect doctors, doctors do a very good job and they should be respected for all that they do but that respect should be mutual.

Commercialization of health sector should be stopped. Doctors should put the patient’s health before money. Putting money first is the root cause for malpractices in the health sector. Some doctors who have private hospitals hold their patients records in their hospitals as a way of ‘owning’ them. When one has gone to a hospital, it is advisable to take their records so that they can be used in case one wants to seek a second opinion. In case of admission and discharge, the patient is supposed to be given a summary of whatever has gone on in the hospital as far as he is concerned. So that even if he goes to another hospital for the same problem the doctors in that hospital will refer to that summary to avoid complicating things. In case of surgery the patient is to be explained to, in detail, before hand the whole process and the side effects of the procedure, that is, the problem he has, what surgery they are going to perform, and the complications that can occur as a result of the surgery. Malpractices have been a major cause of avoidable deaths. The patient also has the responsibility of seeking a second opinion before making major decisions about his health.

In conclusion, all these do not mean that we do not appreciate doctors. We cannot forget the good doctors that work in our hospitals responsibly and tirelessly. They even go an extra mile to make sure that their patients are well taken care of. It would be unthinkable to think of a world without doctors; they truly make this world a better place to live in.

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