Penda Health opens referral center, eyes telemedicine growth   

Penda Health, a medical services provider operating 21 medical centres in Nairobi and its environs, has opened an in-network referral center offering specialist services to its clients as it expands its affordable health care model currently targeting to serve more than 400,000 patients in 2021.

The referral center located in Nairobi’s Central Business District will provide specialist services such as pediatric, gynecology and dental consultations, and advanced ultrasound, diagnostics and laboratory tests. This is in addition to the primary care services offered by Penda Health.

(TOP: Left-Right – Penda Health Director of External Affairs Salome Mwaura; Head of Quality Improvement Dr. Sarah Kiptiness; and GM forKenya, Marion Kago, during a ceremony to formally open Penda Health’s in-network referral center in Nairobi. The referral center located in Nairobi’s Central Business District will provide specialist services such as pediatric, gynecology, dental consultations, advanced ultrasound, diagnostics and laboratory tests).

Penda Health GM for Kenya, Marion Kago, says the new referral center is part of the firm’s goal of expanding access to quality primary health care to Kenyans. It will serve as a hub for advanced clinical support to patients who will now not have to seek services in other referral health facilities thus offering convenience.

“The new referral center has high quality clinical and diagnostic services and a supportive team ready to walk the journey with our clients to achieve and maintain good health,” said Dr. Kiptiness, Penda’s Head of Quality Improvement. “Our goal is to offer a one-stop-shop where patients, both insured and uninsured, can get quality specialist clinical and diagnostic care.”

The latest move comes as Penda Health continues to strengthen its tech-enabled clinical health platform dubbed ‘Pigia Penda’ as part of its telemedicine strategy, to deliver quality care to patients virtually, regardless of their location which also includes a Whatsapp bot.

“Early on, we realized that telemedicine will be an essential component of healthcare. We are currently receiving over 1,500 calls monthly, making over 2000 plus proactive outreach calls to our patients and coordinating home drug delivery, while supporting electronic medical records,” Ms. Kago explains.

Telemedicine is a method of using technology to deliver health care to patients at a distance. While the concept has been around for years, the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified its value as an innovative health care model. Apart from remotely linking doctors and patients, telemedicine improves efficiency and reduces health care delivery costs.

To achieve its strategy of tech-enabled quality health care delivery, while sustainably expanding its network, Penda Health is currently reviewing its organizational structure, which involves consolidating roles, outsourcing some functions and reviewing skill sets required to perform certain jobs.

This also involves letting go of some employees under a comprehensive program that will also see as many as possible offered options to prevent loss of employment.

“To achieve a sustainable and stable company, we need a leaner and more cost-effective organizational structure. Also, the tough economic times due to Covid-19 containment measures enhance the importance of creating a lean business model,” stated Ms. Kago.

Penda is also pursuing direct partnerships with corporates for wellness packages, digital health offerings, and low-cost capitated cover for their employees.

Penda Health, founded in 2011, provides a full range healthcare for the whole family, including medical, lab and pharmacy services. It currently operates 21 facilities in Nairobi, Kiambu and Kajiado Counties, with a plan to expand to the rest of the country and into Africa. Penda Health also provides free virtual consultation on phone through the Pigia Penda service.

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