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Kenya sets sights on the medical tourist

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A section of Kenyatta National Hospital. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Public and private medical stakeholders are pushing for setting up of a central online information portal to market available specialised services to locals and attract foreign medical tourists.

The International Health Conference held in Nairobi heard that Kenya has diverse and unique services and specialist surgeons but lack of information leads to many paying high costs to Indian-based hospitals for services available locally.

Kenyatta National Hospital acting deputy director of Clinical Services Bernard Githae said renal services, equipment and specialists were available but many patients kept flying to India for the same.

“Kenyans continue to rely on oral doctor-to-doctor referrals for lack of a centralised information system to inform our people what individual hospitals offer, their costs and available surgeons.

‘‘Some hospitals rely on the same medical specialists but costs differ based on the target market by individual hospitals,” he said.

Vision 2030 Secretariat Director- General Julius Muia said the board would allocate some funds for the establishment of the portal and fund a survey to gauge local facilities’ preparedness in terms of equipment and personnel.

“We need to identify the hospitals as per their specialty and competence.

‘‘The study will help create a standard practice based on specialities to build training hubs for various ailments,” he said.




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