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Telemedicine proposed as solution to congestion in Nairobi’s health facilities

Nairobi MCAs have called on the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to have all county hospitals embrace use of technology to ease congestion at the facilities as well as ensure better services.

The MCAs have pointed out that the use of telemedicine and connectivity technology will ease the pressure on hospitals as patients do not have to physically be present in hospitals to receive treatment.


Telemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely using modern technology where the service provider and the patient do not have to be physically present with each other.

This, coming at a time when most hospitals are becoming overwhelmed by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the county legislators say this could be a perfect way to decongest the hospitals.

The proposal is contained in a report by the assembly’s health committee after a visit to Narayana Hospital in India to borrow best health practices from a country which is most sought after on matters health.

Narayana Hospital, offering medical care in over 30 medical specialties, is one of the world’s largest telemedicine networks connecting 800 centers globally with presence across eight major cities in India with an international subsidiary in the Cayman Islands.


At the same time, the MCAs also want the county health facilities accredited and commissioned in order for them to deliver high quality services.

According to the chair of the committee Mr Stephen Gikonyo, accrediting and commissioning hospitals under the county will see the facilities fall under a national body and/or commission that would ensure there is greater scrutiny of operation of the hospitals in terms of ensuring they do not suffer from drugs shortage, inadequate health personnel, among other issues.

This will as a result enhance and put into effect adherence to proper heath service standards satisfactory to patients besides being affordable.

“There should be deliberate efforts to have all hospitals in Nairobi accredited and commissioned in order for them to deliver high quality services through telemedicine and connectivity technology that is in tandem with recognised health standards,” read in part the committee’s report adopted by the assembly last week.


The report also called for the goodwill for partnership between Narayana Health Center and NMS to be fostered and actualized.

This is after the hospital’s chairman Dr Devi Prasad Shetty showed willingness to work closely with Nairobi through a public private partnership model to develop healthcare projects and also expand an exchange programme where some of the surgeons could come to Nairobi and conduct surgeries among other procedures.

“Partnership between Narayana and hospitals within Nairobi was to be realised if the latter had its hospitals commissioned,” said Mr Gikonyo.

Other recommendations of the report was for the county government and NMS to emphasise on merit and technical competencies when recruiting nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners in the health sector as well as skills enhancement to ensure provision of high quality services.