Hospitals Detaining Patients Who Cannot Pay

“Doctors at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital have told Robert Wanyonyi there’s nothing more they can do for him. Yet more than a year after he first arrived, shot and paralyzed in a robbery, the ex-shopkeeper remains trapped in the hospital,” the AP reports.

“Because Wanyonyi cannot pay his bill of nearly 4 million Kenyan shillings ($39,570), administrators are refusing to let him leave his fourth-floor bed.”

“At Kenyatta National Hospital and at an astonishing number of hospitals around the world, if you don’t pay up, you don’t go home.”

“The hospitals often illegally detain patients long after they should be medically discharged, using armed guards, locked doors and even chains to hold those who have not settled their accounts. Even death does not guarantee release: Kenyan hospitals and morgues are holding hundreds of bodies until families can pay their loved ones’ bills, government officials say.”

For more information on the issues surrounding medical debt, please contact RIP Medical Debt.