A Deep Dive Into The Financial Impact Of Poor Management Practices At Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

The country’s largest referral medical facility, Kenyatta National Hospital, is currently facing numerous management challenges that have since forced President William Ruto to take drastic action by making changes at the top. The hospital is said to have incurred huge debts as a result of poor management. President Ruto appointed Dr. Samier Muravvej on February 10, 2023, as chair of the KNH Board, replacing George Ooko.

The primary objective behind Dr. Muravvej’s appointment was to bring about operational improvements at the hospital; however, it is disheartening to observe that, with over one year in office, his leadership has yielded minimal results. The focus has now shifted to Dr. Evanson N. Kamuri’s office; he is the Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kamuri has been leading KNH since October 2019. He has been at the facility for 20 years, having worked in various roles within the institution before he assumed his current role as CEO. 

Administrative errors at the hospital have led to the stalling of the Pediatrics Emergency and Burns Management Center. Investigations reveal that the contract for the construction of the centre was initially projected to cost Kshs. 2,959,511,555, while a consultant fee was Kshs. 39,927,200, all totalling Kshs. 2,999,438,755. The project cost was later amended, increasing to Ksh. 633,145,566 or 21% of the initial costs. This escalation of costs is largely attributed to delays in making prompt payments, which continue to persist. This was demonstrated in the contractor’s letter dated April 18, 2023, regarding the delay in payment by the KNH Board, resulting in slow work progress.

Investigations further reveal that the hospital, as of June 2023, had a medical services receivables balance of Ksh. 13,139,787,000. The balance includes a secured individual debtor’s balance of Ksh. 562,353,542. However, verification of schedules revealed 678 patients with a total unsecured debt amount of Ksh. 74,556,613 did not have details of the in-patient number, invoice number, folio number, or guarantor. In addition, these debts have been outstanding for more than 360 days.

The management has also failed to collect rent from tenants amounting to Ksh. 11, 488,827, which has accumulated for over 360 days. The majority of the house occupants are public servants, and it is not clear why the hospital has not initiated rent recovery through the check-off system as required by the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Housing Management Policy. Further, 16 debtors had a balance of Ksh. 21,123,059, accounting for 58% of total rent receivables.