In recent years, Kenya has seen significant improvements in its healthcare system. The government is putting up more public hospitals to attain universal health care objectives. The healthcare system is divided into three:
- Public providers
- Private non-profit organizations (including faith-based and mission hospitals as well as local and international NGOs)
- Private for-profit health care providers.
The government governs most hospitals in Kenya. You have full discretion to choose a provider who fully satisfies your needs.
Thanks to the universal health care program, most people still rely on public hospitals in Kenya to access health care needs. Kenyans can now access health services without high financial requirements. Some public hospitals provide exceptional services to their client. Here is an outline of the best public hospitals where you can get world-class health care services.
Related: The Best Private Hospitals in Kenya
Top Public Hospitals in Kenya
|Name of the Hospital||Services Offered|
|Kenyatta National Hospital||Orthopedic, Dental services, Pediatric clinic, Surgical Outpatient Clinic, POPC including Neurology, general surgery, cardiac, adult chest and skin, MPOC including General medicine, diabetes, TB, special cardiac, Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, OBYGYN, Family Planning, ENT, Adolescent Clinic, Eye clinic, Cardiology Phototherapy, Maternity, ICU|
|Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital||General medicine, Burn Unit, ENT, OBGYN, Radiology, Cardiology, Family Planning, Physiotherapy, Maternity, Pediatrics, Surgery, Dental clinic, Intensive care Unit|
|Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital||Accident and Emergency, Critical care, Oncology, Imaging, Farewell home, Nursing services, Pharmacy, Renal care, Consultancy, Trauma, ICU|
|Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital||Psychotherapy, Professional Counseling, Inpatient care, Treating psychological disorders such as bipolar, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, Addiction disorder, Neurocognitive disorders|
|Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital||Accident and emergency services, Radiology and imaging Maternity and newborn care, Dialysis center Wound care, Cardiology, Dental care, Intensive care unit, OBGY, Oncology|
|Mbagathi Hospital||ICU, Oncology, Orthopedic, Mother and Baby, Maternity, Accident and emergency, Surgical services, Physiotherapy, Mortuary, Consultations|
|Pumwani Maternity Hospital||Antenatal Family Planning Postnatal, Child and adolescent health, Child welfare services, Comprehensive care services for HIV/AIDS, Inpatient and outpatient care|
|Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching & Referral Hospital||Maternity, Newborn care, Dental unit, Surgical services, Family planning, ICU, Accident and emergency care, Mortuary, Inpatient and outpatient services, Oncology, Comprehensive care services for HIV/AIDS, ENT|
|Coast Provincial General Hospital||Comprehensive care services for HIV/AIDS, Dental clinic, Comprehensive diabetes care center, Gender-based violence center, Cardiac center, 24 hours laboratory services, Neurosurgery, Mortuary, Nutritional counseling and education, Oncology, Occupational therapy, Orthopedic services, Pharmacy 24 hr., Accident and emergency Dialysis services|
|Nyeri County Referral Hospital||Outpatient and Casualty, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Mother and Child Health, Comprehensive Care Clinic (HIV)Renal dialysis, Dental, Ear Nose and Throat, Laboratory services, Pharmacy, Diagnostic and imaging services, Physiotherapy, Orthopedic|
In 2016, Kenyatta National hospital was trending for all good reasons. After 23 hours, twin girls joined at the lower back could begin a new life. Doctors performed an intricate procedure on these two girls, and it was successful. But what do you know about this hospital? Well, relax, we give you more information.
Kenyatta hospital is arguably one of the oldest hospitals in Kenya, founded in 1901. It is a free public hospital in Kenya that offers numerous services. The hospital was named after King George VI of England. After independence, the hospital was renamed after the founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Currently, the hospital is the largest teaching and referral hospital in the country. Today, the hospital has a:
- 50 patients ward capacity
- 22 outpatient clinics
- 8 outpatient and 16 specialized theaters
- 21 beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
The hospital has a well-equipped accident and emergency department that takes patients during an emergency. This is a place where you find the best doctors in every field of medicine. Patients who are critically ill are referred to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialized treatment.
Coming second on our list is Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. It is located in Uasin Gishu County (310 Kilometers Northwest of Nairobi). The hospital began operations in 1916 to offer healthcare services to Africans. Initially, the hospital only had 16-bed capacities. Despite the humble beginnings, the hospital has grown tremendously from a native cottage hospital to one of the largest public hospitals in the country.
The hospital gained the full status of a referral hospital through Legal Notice No. 98 of 12th June 1998 of the State. Corporations Act (Cap 446). Today, the hospital has a bed capacity of 991 patients, an average of 1200 patients at any time, and 1500 outpatients per day. Like Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital offers a platform for undergraduate and master’s students of Moi University College of Health specializing in medical programs. Here are the specialized services provided by Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital:
- Oncology service
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Services
- Kidney transplants
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse rehabilitative services
- Spine and Neurosurgical operations
- Cardiology and Cardiothoracic services
- Open heart surgery
- Corneal transplants and Arthroscopic (Shoulder and Knee) Surgery
This hospital is located along the northern bypass road near Kahawa west. It was registered under Legal Notice Number 4 of the State Corporations Act Cap 446 of 25th January 2019 as a Level 6 Tertiary Hospital.
The hospital offers specialized referral services in:
- Accident & Emergency
- Renal and Trauma
In terms of capacity, the hospital has 650 beds plus state-of-the-art facilities. Prof Olive Mugenda is the chairperson of the hospital board.
4. Mathari National Teaching & Referral Hospital
You cannot talk about mental health without mentioning Mathari National Teaching & Referral Hospital. The hospital is located along Nairobi-Thika road. It has an in-house capacity of 700 patients. The hospital was founded in the year 1901 by colonial authorities. Until 1963, all senior doctors and nurses were Europeans, but that has changed over time. Today, Mathari hospital is where you get all the psychiatric-related services. The hospital admits patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders at affordable rates.
5. Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital
Mama Lucy Kibaki is a district hospital officially opened by His Excellency Mwai Kibaki. It is located along Spine Road in Umoja 3 estate in the hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. The hospital is one of the key government efforts to provide essential health care needs to its citizens.
Mama Lucy Kibaki continues to extend its operations. Today, the hospital serves people from eastern regions and all citizens irrespective of their region. Like other government hospitals, Mama Lucy Kibaki seeks to reduce maternal deaths, infant deaths, under-five mortality, and killer diseases in Kenya, such as HIV/AIDS rates.
6. Mbagathi Hospital
This hospital offers numerous services to the citizens. Currently, the hospital serves approximately one million Kenyans. Mbagathi Hospital strives to offer exceptional services to its patients at affordable rates. You cannot compare this hospital with other hospitals under the level 5 category. Here are the services you get in this hospital:
- Casualty/Accident & Emergency services
- Inpatient services comprise of: Male: Medical and Surgical, Female: Medical, Surgical, and Ob/Gyn, and Children: Medical, Surgical, and Pre-term
- A laboratory that offers services such as; Hematology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Histology and Cytology, Clinical chemistry, and Special Chemistry
Mbagathi County Hospital also undertakes:
- Disability Assessment Services (Physical, Visual and Hearing)
- Medical Reports for legal and compliance purposes
The Pumwani Maternity Hospital is well known for the provision of exceptional maternity care services in Sub-Saharan Africa. It began as a charitable organization in 1926. Today, the hospital is an obstetric and referral hospital for the delivery of expectant mothers around the country.
Pumwani Maternity Hospital has a 354-bed capacity, 144 baby cots, 3 theatres, and a High Dependency Unit. Due to its reputation, the hospital has a training center for students specializing in nursing and midwifery.
This hospital has been in existence for more than 100 years. The hospital serves 10 counties in the western region. The main goal of JOOTRH is to provide curative, preventive, promotion, and rehabilitative health services.
Currently, the hospital has a total of 880 staff: consisting of 492 regular staff, 107 from partners, 140 casual workers, and 141 outsourced services. The hospital offers students an opportunity to explore more about the world of medicine.
This is one of the largest hospitals in the coastal region serving 7 counties. The hospital contributes significantly to the realization of national health goals. Coast General Hospital does this by providing highly specialized quality referral healthcare, research, and training. Here are some services you can get from this hospital:
- Inpatient services include 10 general wards, 3 maternity wards, ICU/HDU, and one 12-bed private amenity wing soon to be opened
- Outpatient services are Consultations, Basic- male and female, Specialized – Pediatric, Medical, and Surgical. Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), Ophthalmology, Orthopedic, Psychiatry, Cardiothoracic, Oncology.
10. Nyeri County Referral Hospital
Nyeri County Referral Hospital, previously known as a provincial general hospital, is one of the major hospitals in Kenya. The hospital began as a military facility but today has expanded its operations to serve 10 counties around the region. It has a bed capacity of 270 and 50 cots. Here are services offered at the Nyeri County Referral hospital:
- Outpatient and Casualty
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Mother and Child Health
- Comprehensive Care Clinic (HIV)
- Renal dialysis
- Ear Nose and Throat
- Laboratory services
- Diagnostic and imaging services
These are the top ten public hospitals in Kenya. They offer exceptional services at affordable rates. Thanks to the Kenyan Government that is working continuously to improve the infrastructure of these hospitals. There is more that ought to be done. The government ensures that the construction of cheap public hospitals in Kenya is a priority to cater to the populace’s needs.
Public Hospitals in Kenya FAQs
Q: What services do public hospitals in Kenya offer?
A: The hospitals offer a range of services which include inpatient services, outpatient services, mother and child health care, comprehensive care clinics (HIV), renal dialysis, dental care, ear, nose and throat services, laboratory services, physiotherapy, and orthopedic care.
Q: How affordable are the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya?
A: The rates are highly affordable with most of the hospitals charging a fraction of what private hospitals charge. You can also use NHIF cards to pay for services.
Q: How reliable are the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya?
A: The hospitals are highly reliable with most offering excellent services. However, there is always room for improvement, and the government is working tirelessly to improve the infrastructure of these hospitals.
Q: What should I do if I need urgent medical care and I am not in Nairobi?
A: You should go to the nearest public hospital. The hospitals are spread all over the country and you will be sure to find one close to where you are.
Q: Are there any hospitals that offer services for free?
A: Yes, there are hospitals that offer services for free. However, you will need to check with the hospital to find out which services they offer for free and which ones have a fee.
Q: I am not a Kenyan citizen; can I still use the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya?
A: Yes, you can use the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya. However, you will need to have a valid visa. You should also have proof of insurance or be able to pay for the services you receive.
Q: I am pregnant; can I use the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya?
A: Yes, you can use the services offered by public hospitals in Kenya. However, you will need to check with the hospital to find out which services they offer for expectant mothers. Some hospitals have a special ward for pregnant women.
Q: What should I do if I need to go to the hospital but I don’t have any money?
A: You can go to the nearest public hospital and ask for help. The hospital will be able to provide you with information on how you can get assistance from the government or other organizations.