Nakuru unit operates without budget

Roy Lumbe @lumbe_roy

Patients from Nakuru requiring emergency medical attention at the county’s level five hospital have to scramble for space at the facility’s lone Intensive Care Unit.

The public hospital, which also serves a better part of Baringo and Narok counties, can only house six patients at the ICU at any given time notwithstanding the ever increasing demand for the crucial care.

Despite Nakuru having a population of more than one million people, the hospital has a bed capacity of 500 and six ICU beds whereas international standards require that for every eight hospital beds there should be an ICU bed. Therefore, Nakuru Level Five Hospital should have at least 63 ICU beds.

When People Daily toured the facility, we found the six beds at the department already full and the management said when an emergency arises that requires crucial attention the patients have to be moved to private hospitals.

According to the hospital’s medical superintendent Joseph Mburu, there are plans to increase the hospital’s ICU capacity.

“We plan to construct more ICUs at the facility to meet the rising numbers,” said Mburu. Mburu said there is no specific budget channelled to the ICU, adding that the funds are consolidated and disbursed to the department.

“We do not have a specific budget for the ICU,” said Mburu. In the past, many patients in need of ICU services in public hospitals died in the queue after waiting for long hours to be attended to.

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