Due to the drastic drop in patients visiting hospitals, the Ministry of Health has introduced new guidelines. This is to increase confidence in vulnerable patients who really need healthcare.

The MoH has asked hospitals to increase hygiene and safety measures and organize the patient flow by issuing appointments. The health facilities should increase operational hours and do telephone consultations and follow-ups. The MoH has advised doctors to give large quantities of medicine to last for a long period, say, six months.

Coronavirus has instilled fear in many patients who would on a normal day flock the hospital benches and wards. Currently, people are not visiting hospitals because they don’t have money and the restriction of movement by the government.

Drastic reduction of revenue in hospitals

Consequently, the reduction of patients has caused a decline in hospital revenue. This has prompted a lot of hospitals to reduce the operational costs through pay cuts and termination of staff.

The Mater Hospital in a memo dated May 27, 2020, directed all its staff to take pay cuts for four months to remain at an optimal operational level.

“Since patient numbers have reduced drastically, we will remain at an optimal operational level,” said part of the memo.

MP Shah Hospital staff have also taken pay cuts as others go on leave.

“The pay cut will be effective from May 2020 and the gross salary will be adjusted downwards,” the MP Shah memo read.

However, normalcy has begun resuming at Bungoma West Hospital as hospital has put up safety measures such as spaced sitting arrangement in the waiting area. Other measures include providing hand hygiene facilities and making sure everyone has a face mask.

“The number dropped during the first week when the government announced the social distancing. After one month, the patients actually resumed. From around 600 we are seeing around 400 outpatients daily,” a health officer at the Bungoma West Hospital told Citizen TV.