Court has ordered the Nairobi Women’s Hospital to pay a patient Sh 3 million for detaining her for failure to raise hospital bills.
Justice Weldon Korir ruled that the hospital violated the patient’s rights by detaining her for lack of and failure to pay hospital bills.
“A declaration is hereby issued that the Respondent by unlawfully detaining the petitioner for failing to pay her medical bill, infringed upon her constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms under Articles 28, 29 and 39 of the Constitution and the petitioner is awarded a sum of Sh 3 million as general damages,” ruled Justice Korir.
The court found merit in the cross-petition and entered judgement in favour of the patient and against the hospital for the sum of Sh 1, 784,634.39. According to the judge, the amount shall be set off against the Sh 3,000,000 million awarded to the patient as general damages which translates to Sh 1,215,365.61 million.
“The amount will attract interest at the court’s rate from the date of judgement until payment in full,” ruled the judge.
Emmah Mothoni Njeri sued The Nairobi Women’s hospital seeking a permanent injunction to restrain the hospital from continuing or proceeding with her unlawful detention and incarceration and urged the court to release her.
She also sought an order for award of compensation for the violation of her fundamental human rights and general damages for false imprisonment and loss of earning capacity during incarceration and unlawful detention.
She told the court that she was able to pay the sum of Sh. 1,351,510 and her proposals on how to pay the balance were rejected by the hospital and instead, she was unlawfully and illegally detained at the Hospital premises as the hospital continued to levy unreasonable and unjustified charges. She added that as of 10th October 2018 her bill had risen to Sh 4,029,429.16.
In their response, the hospital denied that it unlawfully detained her and levied any illegal charges arguing that Njeri was at the hospital for unpaid bills and all charges accrued were for services rendered.
The hospital argued that the petitioner signed an undertaking at the time of her admission that she would cater for all medical services rendered once furnished with a medical bill and that during her treatment, she was updated on the status of the medical bill and continued to assure the hospital that the bill would be settled in full.
The hospital stated that on 19th October 2018 the Njeri was released from the hospital on a written agreement that she would pay Sh 10,000 per month until the entire debt of Sh 2,727,536.05 was paid in full.