Body of county employee detained over unpaid bill of over Sh.4 million

The body of Taita Taveta County employee the late Elmina Maghema Mzaza is being detained in a private hospital over unpaid medical and mortuary bills running into millions of shillings.

The body has been lying at the Pandya morgue for the last three weeks and has accumulated a bill amounting to more than Sh. 4.2 million.

Her family is at pains as to how they would raise this huge amount, as the county administration had failed to clear the pending bills to allow them bury the deceased.

The 58 year old woman was admitted at the hospital on February 10, 2018 and died in April, 26 this year.

From the time the deceased was admitted to the time she died, it is now 39 days, said Mary Mwangi, the deceased’s daughter.

Narrating her ordeal, Ms. Mwangi lamented that the county government, where her mother worked had declined to clear the bill despite the fact that she (deceased) used to honour her monthly statutory deductions to National Hospital Insurance fund (NHIF).

Mwangi said the government had already been served with an invoice by the management of the hospital to pay the pending bills, whose payments were not forthcoming.

The deceased is a county government worker and the administration has to cater for all her medical, mortuary and transport expenses in line with the civil service regulations, she said amid sobs.

She at the same time, claimed that they had made fruitless frequent visits to the county government offices in Wundanyi town.

The family also claimed that the county administration had not been remitting the statutory deductions like NHIF to the deceased’s account.

We went to the offices to find out about my father’s and late mother’s NHIF account, all amounting to more than Sh. 1.5 million which would have helped clear part of the bill. But we were shocked to learn that the statutory deductions have not been reflected in their accounts, noted Ms Mwangi, who spoke to KNA on Monday morning.

Flashing the hospital bill in her hands, the bereaved claimed that the county administration had written a commitment letter that they would meet the hospital expenses, which they had not honoured to date.

Mwangi observed that all what the hospital required in order to release the body of Mzaza was another document to certify that they shall pay the accumulated bill.

The Taita Taveta County Secretary, Samuel Mwanyasi admitted that the deceased was their worker and his administration was doing everything possible to address the issue.

The former government employee worked at the department of Devolution and Planning, and we were doing our best to assist her receive quality medical services until her untimely death. We are making frantic efforts to settle the pending bills to pave the way for her burial soon, said Mwanyasi.

He appealed to the family to be patient as the county government addresses the situation.

Source: Kenya News Agency