By John Kamau
Let’s start from the beginning. The whole incident begun when a popular blogger by the name of Owaahh on Twitter got WhatsApp screen shots purportedly from Nairobi womens WhatsApp group.
Owaahh then went ahead to decode these messages and used them to conduct a social media war against NWH. He started a conversation online that revolved around the story and collected views from different users to support his claims. The screen shots were about a CEO who was asking his staff on patient and revenue targets at the hospital.
In a bizarre piece of journalism, Owaahh used the screen shots to tie the conversation to Nairobi Women’s Hospital investors and Venture Capitalist. This on its own raises the first question, was the issue the hospital practices or its investors and Venture Capitalists.
Coincidentally NWH has gotten almost 80% of Venture Capital coming to Kenya in the medical space. Was the concern about patients or about the hospitals economic success?
Is it just me or it raises eyebrows how the Nation Media Group singled out NWH in their coverage. The Nation Media Group kept recycling the same story about NWH on all their platforms. Every morning at exactly 6:30am for the last two weeks Daily Nation tweets out the story of the screen shots. Never mind that the media house ran a story that covered nearly ten pages just based on screenshots.
Despite the fact that many private hospitals were mentioned, the sole focus by the Nation Media Group was NWH. It was becoming clearer by the day that this was a witch hunt when people started questioning why Nairobi womens is being singled out. Is this not conflict of interest given that the Nation Media Group is owned by Aga Khan Group; the same Aga Khan Group which owns Aga Khan Hospital.
Most of the complaints from the online users were aimed at Aga Khan Hospital. This begs the question, did the Nation Media Group use Nairobi Women’s as a sacrificial lamb in order to protect Aga Khan Hospital? Is this a case of unprofessional journalism by NMG?
I came across an email trail where AAR insurance informs a customer who says they can not take cover if Nairobi Women’s is not on the panel that they are simply obeying orders from AKI to all insurance companies to suspend services at Nairobi Women’s and goes ahead to attach copies of letters from other insurances. If this is indeed the case, did AAR in this case and other insurances act out of a real issue or on AKI orders? What would the situation look like if private hospital associations took a similar stand against the insurance companies? Is this a typical case of insurance companies becoming rogue?