Hospitals to be rated based on quality of care - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Hospitals to be rated based on quality of care


The government is introducing a new rating system for all healthcare facilities. At the moment, hospitals and health facilities are graded in terms of levels, but the government now says the system does not only cause confusion but makes the National Hospital Insurance Fund to lose a lot of money.

It was discovered that in the current categorisation, some hospitals, clinics and dispensaries were given higher than they were supposed to get. As a result, they have been getting higher re-imbursements, yet their services are not commensurate to that, says the Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority CEO Dr Jackson Kioko said.

“We downgraded 800 hospitals and this exercise was every good because then NHIF realised they have been losing money because of this kind of a situation. A small clinic is given a level 4, so you get a re-imbursement of a level 4 and then you see it is NHIF to lose,” he said.

“So the authority is coming to be an independent body. It would go out there with the lens of an authority and see the standards, grade the hospitals, provide the information to the CS for gazettement, and all that.”

Under the new plan, in addition to the levels, healthcare facilities will be given a star rating, similar to the one in the hotel industry. This will be based purely on the quality of care being provided in the facility.

Dr Kioko said most complaints the public has raised about the hospitals are about the quality, not being treated well, untimely services or that services were inadequate.

“For example, if I go to Nairobi Hospital and I give it a level 5, and I go to Mama Lucy and I give it a level 4, now we said moving forward, the type of categorising or grading is good, but it needs to be improved.

“We want to grade or categorise hospitals based on the quality of services you are providing. So we are going to combine the two approaches and say, if it is Nairobi Hospital, we will give it a level 5 but then we look at the quality of care and say you are three star or two star.”

This will help Kenyans to have information and make informed decisions on where they want to get their healthcare resources, in a move the CEO says will bring about competition among healthcare providers, hence improving the quality of care.

By getting a two star, for instance, it will mean the health facility has a long way to go in terms of provision of quality care to Kenyans.

Once the hospital has been inspected, the teams will then put a sticker outside that hospital which is visible to everybody, indicating the level and star rating.

“We would have educated the public so much to be able to know if I am going to this hospital and is a two star, what does it mean to me, so that you can make your own choice because the quality of care in that hospital has been inspected and has been certified.”

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