A cancer specialists lobby group has revealed that some doctors receive Sh100,000 for each patient they refer oversees for specialized treatment. Chairman David Makumi, who is also an oncologist, has made this known.
The unethical doctors consistently prescribe foreign trips to all cancer cases even when they can handle such cases in the country.
Thus, they manipulate the economic situation of the country to pocket home high profit while the load of hard currency spent on medical trips climb greatly.
According to Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations, the overwhelmingly exploitative act is the handwork of some rich and influential foreign hospitals that created an association of corrupt medical practitioners in the country.
The said association work to ensure patients flood into the hospitals abroad for every case of cancer.
Chairman David Makumi, who is also an oncologist said during the launch of American Cancer Society Source Programme on Thursday.
It is known and I can go on record saying that some healthcare providers are getting kickbacks of up to $1,000 (Sh102,000) per patient referred to hospitals in India for cancer treatment that Kenya has capacity to handle,
Personally, I have been approached (by the agents of foreign hospitals) but when I threatened to report them to the anti-corruption agency, they took off.
Kenya has lately improved in cancer treatment. Based on what experts say, radiotherapy infrastructure in private hospitals is not used most of the time.
All because some doctors who have converted cancer treatment to lucrative business send patients abroad for their own personal interest instead of being pushed by the country’s improvement in cancer treatment.
Furthering, David Makum stated that 40 percent of patients diagnosed for radiotherapy end up not coming for the treatment because they were advised against having it in Kenya.
Meanwhile, radiotherapy is standard anywhere around the world whether in India, New York or Kenya.
A record obtained from Ministry of Health also reveals Kenyans spent about Sh8 billion on health services abroad. This has a negative bearing on Kenyan’s economy since it diminishes the country’s foreign currency reserves by the same margin.
Dr Makumi urged the National Health Insurance Fund cover for cancers to put all the cancer patients in consideration and not only public servants. He added that lots of patients can’t still afford basic treatment.
As of yet, chemotherapy price is reduced for cancer patients referred from Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi to the Aga Khan Hospital.
But a person suffering from cancer probably requires up to 30 chemotherapy treatments and administration of drugs which would cost the person about Sh20,000 — when directed to the hospital — against the normal charge of about Sh100,000.
He told the Business Daily that the corrupt and rent-seeking doctors need to be reported to the board to be disciplined appropriately.
Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board CEO Daniel Yumbya emphasized that delayed or specialized treatment which is available in Kenya and for which any doctor suggests treatments abroad, would be a case to probe.
He added that Patients confidently walk up to doctors hoping that the best advice be given in the interest of the patient, but not the other way round.
He noted that any doctor who infringes the ethics of medicine will face the consequences.