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Woman sues hospital after being detained over Sh2m bill

A Congolese woman who owes the Nairobi Women’s Hospital more than Sh2 million shillings in medical bills has gone to court to challenge her nine-month detention at the said medical facility.

Ms Nkosi Mangaribi Bibishe, a business woman, has sued the hospital’s Adams Arcade branch, the health ministry’s Principal Secretary and the Attorney General.

Through lawyer Gacheri Nyagah, she claims it has been nine months since her admission at the medical facility on October 11, 2016 after she slipped in her bathroom and injured her leg as well as the back.

Ms Bibishe accused the hospital of refusing to agree on a mechanism of how the bill can be settled in installments after being released.


She claimed that the detention had forced her three children, who solely depend on her, to be thrown out of their rented house over rent arrears. She said the children are currently depending on well-wishers to meet their daily needs.

She also claimed that they have been sent away from school for failing to clear fees because she has not been able to fend for them while under the detention and that her business in her home country has suffered.

“Nothing short of the urgent intervention of the court will ensure that the constitutional rights of the mother and her children do not continue to be violated by her continued detention,” said Ms Nyagah.

Ms Bibishe, who frequently visits the country because her children study at USIU and Brook House, came for such a visit on June 9, 2016.

Following the minor accident in their house, the children rushed her to the said hospital since it was the one near their residence.

She was admitted upon payment of Sh 200,000 deposit, was thereafter treated and discharged on November 7, 2016 with a bill of Sh 2,367,874.84.


The single mother alleged that the detention has also hindered her from extending her visa, which expired on December 8, last year.

She wrote to the hospital through her lawyer in February seeking to have an agreement on settling the bill since it had been six months in detention at that time. But her request was not granted.

In her case documents, she claimed that she has been moved to the tuberculosis room without any protective clothing hence she has been exposed to the danger of contracting that illness.

“I am willing to pay the hospital bill ….my continued detention has gravely prejudiced my rights and those of my children who are fully dependent on me for their livelihood,” said Ms Bibishe.

She now wants the court to have her released so that she can be able to sort out her visa status and needs of her children.