NAIROBI, Kenya Sept. 14 – Sixty-two medical negligence claims have been reported to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) in 2021, in September, with obstetricians and gynecologists accounting for the largest number of cases.
KMPDC chief executive Daniel Yumbya said the medical profession’s specialty of obstetrics and gynecology has maintained the highest number of medical negligence cases with 360 cases since 1997.
“If a patient feels that he has not received quality care during his treatment, he has the right to lodge a complaint with the Council. We also receive complaints from relatives of a patient, guardians, caregivers and also the media. Members of the public can also report their cases, ”he told the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday investigating underreported cases of medical negligence and malpractice.
The Council said a total of 1,301 cases of medical negligence against various health facilities have been registered in Kenya since 1997.
Yumbya revealed that the Council has determined a total of 1,172 complaints while 129 cases are pending at various stages of investigation.
“Upon receipt, complaints are submitted to the Council’s legal service for processing before being lodged with the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee. Once a complaint has been lodged, the Council forwards it to the practitioner / institution within 5 working days to respond to the allegations contained in the complaint, ”he said.
Internal medicine and surgery were also cited as the specialties with the highest number of reported medical negligence cases at 198 and 181 respectively.
Acting Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth, however, stressed that the number does not reflect reality as some cases go unreported.
“With medical negligence and malpractice occurring in healthcare facilities, the majority of cases go unreported due to fear or lack of information about injured parties and few reported cases are usually filed through the intermediary. respective professional regulatory bodies and boards as complaints, ”he said.
When after investigation, the Council determines that a person is guilty, the Council may issue a warning or reprimand in writing, order a doctor or dentist to undergo remedial training for a period not exceeding twelve months. , order the doctor or dentist to be probed for a period not exceeding six months.
The Council may also suspend, withdraw or cancel the permit to practice of a physician or a dentist for a period not exceeding twelve months, suspend, withdraw or cancel the permit of a health establishment or of a section of the health establishment for a period not exceeding twelve months, permanently remove the name of a doctor or dentist from the registers referred to in article.
The monetary penalties have increased over time from Sh5,000 to Sh10 million.