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Murang’a doctor faces sack for prescribing wrong drugs to patient

A clinical officer at Murang’a Level 5 hospital is facing the sack for prescribing wrong drugs to a patient.

Joel Ndung’u allegedly administered a cough syrup to a patient who had an infection in the nose.

He is said to have directed the patient to a specific private pharmacy to buy the drug.

Health Chief Officer James Gitau said the clinical officer confessed to deliberately prescribing the wrong medication.

The medic’s case follows an outcry over the lack of drugs in the hospital.

The chief officer said they are investigating medics at the hospital who “have formed a cartel that is sabotaging services in the facility”.

He said the health workers are colluding with some private pharmacies to defraud the county government by prescribing expensive alternative drugs that are not stocked in the hospital.

“They prescribe drugs that they know are not in the hospital’s pharmacy and then instruct them to buy them at specific pharmacies where they go for their cut in the evening,” Gitau said.

He said this started following measures to ensure the hospital provides all drugs to patients in a bid to prohibit medics from referring patients to private pharmacies.

In cases where rare drugs are to be prescribed, the medics are to indicate their full names and signatures.

This, Gitau said, made it hard for doctors for continue receiving money for referrals to private pharmacies, a move that has seen some of them change tact.

“The pharmacies are now colluding with some medics to fight the changes because they have lost the money they earned from the referrals.”

Last month, the county government started a programme where NHIF card holders were to strictly get medication lacking in hospitals from three pharmacies in Murang’a town.

The programme was aimed at supporting patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

A month later, one of the private pharmacists complained that some of the prescriptions to NHIF card holders were unrealistic and reported to the county government.

In November last year, Governor Mwangi wa Iria issued a directive to all medical superintendents to ensure patients are not referred to private pharmacies and laboratories.

Wa Iria said this after making an impromptu visit to the county referral hospital where hundreds of patients were stranded after being turned away yet the drugs were available.

Read: Governor Wa Iria threatens to sack medics over lack of drugs, graft

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