Sick Woman Confined Over Bill to Be Treated

Source: The Star

27 NOVEMBER 2014

A woman who has been detained at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital for non payment of Sh83,500 will now get medical attention following a court directive.

The hospital and the woman’s husband have agreed in court that she be examined to determine if she can be discharged or referred to another hospital.

It was also agreed that the lawyers representing the woman give an undertaking to ensure payment of the outstanding hospital fees on or before January 31, 2015.

The consent between the two parties was entered before High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi.

The consent arose out of a case filed by Edwin Odhiambo, seeking immediate discharge of his ailing wife Rosemary Atieno.

In his suit, Odhiambo said his wife is in dire need of further treatment of dialysis at a different facility since the hospital does not do that and she risks losing her life.

He said the continued holding of his wife at the hospital’s Ongata Rongai branch, is a violation of his wife’s right to medical treatment.

He sought an unconditionally release his wife and her medical records so that she can go for further treatment at Kenyatta national hospital.

The woman was first taken to Migori district hospital in 2013, before she was transferred to the Nairobi Women Hospital, Ongata Rongai branch in July and then later transferred to the Adams branch in August.

She had been diagnosed with kidney complications, was treated, underwent five dialysis and was discharged on October 10.

She however continued to seek out patient services at the Beacon of Hope Hospital in Ongata Rongai.

And now she is being held at the hospital for lack of payment of Sh40,000.

“They have since held the patient hostage that they would not release her unless Sh40,000 is paid for the expenses the hospital incurred without any consultation with Odhiambo as the patient is too ill to make any sound decisions,” the suit papers read in part.

The hospital further terminated her treatment on grounds that the required deposit is Sh20,000, despite advising Odhiambo that his wife needs urgent emergency dialysis treatment or risk losing her life.

Odhiambo says his wife has been subjected to physical pain. Psychological torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as well wrongful confinement against her will and misrepresented facts of her treatment to him.

The doctors have recommended that she need urgent dialysis treatment, which the hospital does not have the dialysis machine but they confined her in their custody while in extreme pain, vomiting and having blood urine

The case will be mentioned February 10, 2015.

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