The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council has received 62 cases of medical negligence in 2021 compared to 79 filed last year.
In responses to the Senate, KMPDC CEO Daniel Yumbya says a total of 1301 cases have been lodged with the Council since 1997.
Obstetrics and Gynecologists account for the highest number of these cases with 360 followed by internal medicine and surgery with 198 and 181 respectively.
The Council has heard and determined 1172 cases while 129 cases are pending at various stages of investigations.
Yumbya says of the determined cases, one entity was deregistered, 8 had their licenses cancelled while 18 had their licenses suspended for 6-12 months.
Some entities were referred to other regulatory bodies, while others were cautioned and some referred for mediation.
According to Yumbya, patients who feel they did not receive quality healthcare while receiving treatment, have a right to lodge a complaint with the Council.
“We also receive complaints from a patient’s relatives, guardians, caregivers and also the media. Upon receipt the complaints are submitted to the Council’s legal department for processing before they are tabled before the Disciplinary & Ethics Committee (DEC),” He said.
Yumbya said Once a complaint has been lodged, the Council forwards it to the Practitioner/institution (within 5 working days) to respond to the allegations in the complaint.
“The DEC then investigates to find out whether the case has merit and thereafter a determination is made after both parties have been heard. This is done to ensure a fair hearing for both parties. Once a determination (judgement) is made, it is communicated to the parties in writing,” He said.
If one is not satisfied with the resolution made by the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, he/she can seek redress at the High Court of Kenya.
He said penalties associated with medical negligence and malpractice were recently reviewed through the Health Laws (Amendment), 2019.
“Through the above-mentioned recent amendment, it provides for tougher penalties than was in the previous regime where it increased fines from Ksh 5,000 – Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 5,000,000 – Ksh 10,000,000,” He said.