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Private health care in Africa: A middle way?

Sitting in the shade outside the Avenue hospital in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, StephenOmbedho plays on his smartphone while his wife is inside being treated for a chest infection. After three years of private health insurance, he is still getting used to the perk. But he remembers the wait at public hospitals, where the queuing can be measured in days.

  • Nov 16, 2013

The 38-year-old driver and his family are covered by his employer, a dairy firm, at a cost of about $200 a year. The package does not offer much in the way of frills. The wooden waiting area in the hospital car park is little better than a shed. But the care on offer is markedly better than in most of its state-run counterparts. A friend of Mr Ombedho died last year only hours after being discharged from one of them. The doctors, he said, had “no time or money” to give his friend proper treatment.

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