Buoyed as a thriving medical transformation center, Mediheal Group of Hospitals, after undertaking over 200 kidney transplants since the inauguration of the hospital’s Kidney transplant Unit in 2019, endless disputes continue to dog the much hyped facilities.
The facilities are owned by Indian born doctor from Odisha, India, cum politician Dr. Swarup Ranjan Mishra, now Kesses Member of Parliament (MP).
Besides being the director of Mediheal Group of Hospitals and Fraternity Centre in Kenya, Mishra is a self-declared obstetric gynaecologist and chairman of the department of reproductive health at Eldoret’s Moi University.
Although very little is known about him before he permanently shifted to Nairobi in 1997, records show Mishra pursued MBBS from the MKCG Medical College in Odisha’s Berhampur and worked at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai.
The MediHeal hospital has branches in Nairobi, Nakuru, Uganda and Rwanda.
Mediheal’s Chief Kidney Transplant Surgeon Dr Sanand A Bag said Kenyans requiring kidney transplant can now undergo the process at an affordable cost locally at approximately Sh1.6 million compared to Sh5 million to Sh7 million for the same abroad.
“We not only offer the service to patients in Kenya, but also from neighbouring countries as well as Kenyans living in the Diaspora saving them high costs of travel abroad,” A Bas said.
Dr A.S Murthy, a consultant nephrologist, said of all the kidney transplants in the facility, 95 per cent of the patients are now doing well.
He added that the survival rate for the kidney transplants conducted at the facility was far better than those done outside the country.
With the success of over 200 kidney transplants, the hospital is now planning to expand its capacity, a move that will enable it to conduct even more transplants.
Besides the medical breakthrough, Mediheal has numerously been in the public limelight over accusations of organ transplant trafficking allegations, claims that the hospital and the alleged patient identified as John Kogo from Eldoret vehemently disowned.
While seeking gag orders from the matter being publicised, in an affidavit, Mishra said that the organ transplant trafficking allegations were severely denting the image of the hospital locally and internationally.
The allegations led to panic among current and potential patients, investors, partners, financiers and donors resulting in loss of business and opportunities which is hurting the hospital irreparably.
Separately, in July last year, the facility was ordered to pay a former employee Sh2million as damages for testing her HIV status without her consent and disclosing the results to third parties in July last year.
Justice Hellen Ong’udi directed Mediheal Group of Hospitals and Mediheal Hospital Eastleigh to pay the woman, code-named Rao, money for emotional and psychological distress as a result of the stigma she suffered as a result.
The judge increased the Sh900, 000 award given to the woman by the HIV and Aids Tribunal in November 2020.
Justice Ong’undi said the tribunal’s amount was too low and it had failed to consider that Ms Rao also lost her job.
The court dismissed a counterclaim by the hospital seeking damages from Ms Rao for bad publicity it claimed it suffered and an outstanding hospital bill of Sh33, 067.
In yet another labour dispute matter, the hospital was on the spot for unfairly terminating eight nurses over the disappearance of two patients who had pending bills.
The eight employees including five nurses and three nursing aids accused Mediheal Hospital management of unfair termination saying it was not their duty to guard discharged patients.
The labour officer Joel Omweno directed the hospital’s management to settle the matter within a week, failing to which legal action was to be taken.
“The eight employees reported the unfair termination and lack of the management’s willingness to pay their terminal dues,” Omweno said.
Omweno called upon the hospital management to settle the one-month pay in lieu of notice, any pending leave, unpaid days worked, any overtime worked and rest days.
Peril Cheruto, a nurse who was among the victims, said the patients who had been discharged disappeared at the facility on March 5 and 10 respectively.
“Nurses do not have an obligation to handle patients who have been discharged. The two disappeared during the day and having been mobile patients, they were not under our watch,” Cheruto said.
One patient, who had been involved in an accident and was treated at the facility, escaped without paying Sh85, 000. The other patient was in the private suite and was to pay Sh400, 000.
Despite Mediheal being a private hospital, it’s still under the control of the Ministry of Health guidelines in one way or the other and needs certification from MoH to operate or to confirm such claims like Mediheal just did.