Kenya is boasting as the regional hub for the medical profession playing host to number of the best health facilities in the region.
This is a milestone that has not come easy.
Health remains one of the key sectors that drive an economy and being such important not only locally, it calls for a proper management.
Being such an important sector it called for the formation of a strong body to manage the health affairs this saw the conception of Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC).
KMPDC was established under the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act (Chapter 253 Laws of Kenya),
The body was mandated to license the training and practice of medicine, dentistry and community oral health, as well as regulate all health facilities within the Republic of Kenya.
This has moved to ensure that the health services in the country are intergraded and managed from a single source which has made easier to set standards of health in the country.
Under the leadership of Mr. Daniel M. Yumbya, MBS, the Council has received new mandates under the devolved county units and has been serving as an advisory to the National and County Governments and the Ministry of Health.
The council, as a health regulator, has also been working tirelessly to ensure that the health services Kenyans receive are of higher quality.
KMPDC has for instance worked on amendments to the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act (Cap 253 Laws of Kenya) with the last of the same coming into effect on 17th May, 2019.
Yumbya offers that the amendments have not only given the council more regulatory and enforcement powers but have also ensured patients’ safety through the introduction of a Professional Indemnity Cover (PIC).
To ensure quality healthcare delivery in Kenya KMPDC continue to work with Kenya Medical Association (KMA), the Kenya Dental Association (KDA) and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in an effort to not only ensure quality healthcare for patients, but also ensure doctors’ welfare in the country is well taken care of
“Something that is also commendable in the Act is that health facilities and practitioners have now been compelled by law to have a Professional Indemnity Cover (PIC) before they renew their yearly licenses.
This cover ensures that in case a practitioner or health facility is found culpable of a malpractice and are asked to pay the complainant for damages, it is covered, and the complainant will be paid without issue.” Mr. Yumbya told CEO Africa.
He further offered that the same have ensured that quacks in the industry across the country have been dealt a blow so as to protect patients.
Yumbya has ensured that the Council has updated a register of all licensed practitioners and health facilities on its website www.kmpdc.go.ke to protect unsuspecting Kenyans and ensure patients know if the person treating them is indeed a doctor and if a health facility is licensed to operate.
“Our job is to ensure Kenyans get quality healthcare as we strive to protect patients from fraudulent people.
That is why we saw it necessary to share the list of licensed practitioners and health facilities and make them easily available for the public should they need to ascertain the credentials of the person treating them.
I encourage Kenyans to be on the lookout for quacks because not everyone calling themselves “doctor” is one,” said Mr. Yumbya.
The penalties set for such persons is a fine not exceeding five million shillings or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.
The council recently received reports from health institutions that Kenya Health Professional Oversight Authority (KHPOA), has been undertaking inspections of health facilities and demanding payment for the same for purposes of NHIF accreditation.
On the same, the council clarified that it is the only body mandated under section 4 and 15 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act (CAP 253) to carry out such functions.
“Further Section 30(1) of the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act (CAP 255) establishes a consultation framework between the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Council on matters of inspection.
The CEO would also like to state that a health facility’s KMPDC Certificate of Registration and its valid KMPDC Annual Operating License serve as sufficient docs authorizing health institutions to engage with NHIF to enlist and contract health service delivery, ” read a statement from the council.
The Council has also played a very critical role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. In its regulatory and advisory capacity, through the Ministry of Health, KMPDC was mobilized to assist in national coordination, compilation of action and implementation plans to curb the deadly virus as the government continued to review and implement more measures to curtail the pandemic nationally. This saw the council put in charge of quarantine and isolation facilities in the country.
“The Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe constituted a national team of experts under the leadership of our Chairman Dr Eva Njenga in July 2020, to provide technical assistance to all 47 counties with a view to enhance the county governments’ pandemic preparedness and response mechanisms. I was the Secretariat Head,” Yumbya said.
KMPDC also promises to work closely together with Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Kenya Dentist Association (KDA), and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in an effort to not only ensure quality healthcare for patients, but also ensure doctors’ welfare in the country is well taken care of.
Already, the Council has representation from KMA and KDA.
KMPDC reiterates that the body has been working together with relevant stakeholders to create momentum and look into issues affecting the local health care practitioners.
“Healthcare is very important for any country, but quality healthcare cannot be achieved without the healthcare workers,” said Dr. Dr. Eva Njenga the chairperson of KMPDC
“Medical associations play a big role in addressing cases of misconduct. We thank the KMPDC for providing an environment that promotes stakeholder involvement in decision-making,” Dr. Onyino said adding that the representation of KMA at the Council is a step in the right direction.
In a separate interview, KDA Chairman Dr. Linus Ndegwa said the association is greatly pleased that there is someone at the Council speaking on behalf of dentists in the country.
KMPDC also recently hosted the Presidential Advisor on Mental Health, Dr. Frank Njenga, alongside his delegation including representatives from the Ministry of Health’s Division of NCDs and Mental Health as well as those from Non-communicable Diseases Alliance Kenya (NCDAK).
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss among other things, regulation of treatment and rehab services for substance use disorders, mental health and wellbeing of healthcare workers and trainees and NCDs and mental health mainstreaming across sectors.
KMPDC promised the team maximum support from the Council to ensure the sector is streamlined and well regulated, so as to achieve quality healthcare for all.
Most of the Council’s services can now be accessed online including among others, Integrated CPD Management System, Online Services Portal, List of accredited CPD providers and planned quarterly activities.
Others are Registered Practitioners, Registered Health Facilities, Closed Health Facilities, and Procedure of lodging complaints on alleged medical malpractice.