As is the case throughout the country, the standard of healthcare in Nairobi varies considerably depending on the type of treatment needed and the type of hospital expats can afford. Healthcare in Kenya offers both public and private facilities, and expats generally opt for the latter.
There are plenty of private hospitals, medical centres and individual practices in and around Nairobi. The major challenge for expats will be to decide where to seek treatment. Expats moving to Nairobi will need to consider convenience and which facility best aligns with their priorities and health needs.
Kenya's public healthcare system operates with contributions from two types of social security services: the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Scheme (NSSF). The NHIF is largely targeted at Kenyan citizens over the age of 18, though all citizens and expatriates working in Kenya must make monthly contributions to this, deducted from their salary.
Though expats are eligible to take advantage of the NHIF, most opt for private healthcare which requires a more comprehensive insurance policy.
Though not compulsory by law, private health insurance comes strongly recommended for expats in Nairobi. Without it, healthcare costs are just as expensive as in Western countries, and covering the costs for emergency care – and especially medical evacuation – out of pocket can be impossible.
Pharmacies are easy to find in Nairobi. Most major hospitals have pharmacies attached to them, which are open 24/7. There are also privately run pharmacies that can easily be located in shopping malls as well as on major streets in Nairobi.
Below is a list of some of the city's most prominent hospitals.
Hospitals in Nairobi
Aga Khan University Hospital
Address: 3rd Parklands Avenue, Limuru Road, Nairobi
Bristol Park Hospital
Address: Behind Tassia School, Outer Ring Road, Fedha Estate, Nairobi
Care Hospital Ltd
Address: Muinami Street, Opposite Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Nairobi
Gertrude's Children's Hospital
Kenyatta National Hospital
Address: Hospital Rd, Nairobi
M.P. Shah Hospital
Address: Shivachi Road in Parklands area, Nairobi
The Nairobi Hospital
Address: Argwings Kodhek Rd, Nairobi
►For more on medical options in the country, read Healthcare in Kenya
►What's it really like to live in Nairobi? Have a read of the Pros and Cons of Living in Nairobi
"My recommendation if you have kids is to find a good paediatrician as soon as you arrive. We love Dr Nesbitt at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Muthaiga. As for hospitals, The Aga Khan University Hospital is widely regarded as the best hospital in Nairobi." Read our interview with Tara for more information on health and safety in Kenya.
"So far my experiences have been good but all expats pay for private medical insurance which provides access to the top doctors and hospitals. Having said that, I've been told that I should go back to the UK for anything other than minor surgery." Read more in this interview with Nadine.
Are you an expat living in Nairobi?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Nairobi. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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