Karen Hospital, patient fail to agree over Sh23m bill

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The Karen Hospital and the family of patient Jackyline Nelima Mutaki have failed to settle a Sh23 million bill dispute out of court. 

Karen Hospital sued the patient over the bill, claiming her family had abandoned her. But Mutaki's family said the hospital was negligent and should cover the cost of her treatment.   

The deadlock means the court will hear the case after the window for negotiations collapsed. Justice James Makau has directed both parties to file written submissions in seven days.

In their suit papers, the Karen Hospital says Mutaki went for an elective caesarian section procedure but complications during the operation left her bedridden.  

"The routine preparation for CS spinal anaesthesia was administered but she had complications," the hospital says.

Hospitl CEO Dr Juliet Gikonyo says in an affidavit that due to the complications Mutaki was transferred to the high dependency unit.

Gikonyo says the patient has been undergoing physiotherapy and treatment for recurrent chest pain since last year. 

"The respondent (patient) has been undergoing physiotherapy and occupational therapy to date which activities have caused the hospital bill to skyrocket a tune of Sh23,700,549," the affidavit reads.

The hospital wants the court to allow them to discharge Mutaki for home-based care or alternatively to grant consent for her referral to KNH.

However, the family of the patient wants the case by the hospital dismissed.

Also sought by the family is an order for an independent doctor to be allowed to assess the patient’s current medical condition.

Mutaki’s husband Michael Omusula says his wife delivered through an elective caesarean section on February 16, 2019.

Omusula was informed that his wife developed complications after the administration of the anaesthesia.

Her blood pressure went down while the baby was still in the womb and she became unconscious.

The doctors decided to deliver the baby before resuscitating the wife.

And for over a year, the woman has been in hospital after delivery and her state is not improving, the court heard.

The family of the patient believes that the hospital owes a duty of care given that her condition arose out of negligence on the part of the institution.

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