Presidents and other powerful individuals in society become sick like the rest of us and at times end up being hospitalized. Unlike the common mwananchi, the Head of State has a personal doctor who monitors his health even when he is not sick. Before being assigned this duty, a physician undergoes a thorough security scrutiny and has to get the approval of the President.
This article takes a look at the physicians who have been entrusted with the health of Presidents and other powerful individuals in Kenya.
Dr Dan Gikonyo-Former President Kibaki’s Doctor
He is a well known name in Kenya who apart from being a renowned cardiologists is the founder of Karen Hospital. Dr Gikonyo was the personal doctor of former President Mwai Kibaki during his 10 year reign. He was charged with ensuring the then sickly president was fit as he could be.
Speaking to the Standard newspaper, the cardiologist said that “being the President’s doctor is more than a job. It is a patriotic duty. One wrong move could throw the country into panic. If something was to go wrong as you are treating him, what would people think? The health of the President is the health of the nation.”
Dr Olouch Olunya
He was among the local specialist doctors who were charged with the health of Kibaki. The neurosurgeon is also the ODM leader Raila Odinga personal doctor.
Dr David Silverstein
Little was known about Dr David Silverstein until the death of former President Daniel arap Moi. Eulogising the strongman, Mr Silverstein said their “relationship as doctor and patient warmed over 42 years with deepening trust, mutual respect and growing friendship.”
Dr Silverstein was Moi’s doctor for 42 years.
How much are these doctors paid?
Dr Gikonyo has rubbished the notion that a President personal doctors is paid handsomely for his services saying that the Head of State doesn’t pay from his pocket. Setting the record straight, the doctor said that “people imagine that when you are treating a President, you make a lot of money and that you can get rich overnight”, while a doctor fee, “is paid by the State and you cannot overcharge him just because he is the President.”