PathCare Kenya has appointed a new Managing Director, Samwel Irungu, to drive the business arm of the laboratory services provider. He previously worked at Equity Bank Kenya Limited as the General Manager in charge of business performance.
The company that started in November 2002, was the first internationally accredited laboratory in East and Central Africa, headed by the founder, Dr Kiran Radia, as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Pathologist.
“I am excited for the opportunity to be part of the team that will execute the vision of our founder, Dr Radia, of taking quality medical diagnostic services to the people through a strategically planned expansion. This will ensure accessibility, affordability and timeliness of PathCare’s quality laboratory services, and put evidence-based medicine right at the heart of patient care across the country,” says Samwel.
The former banker holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Nairobi, and is a certified public accountant of Kenya. He has previous experience working for global accounting firm PwC, Diageo, and Vivo Energy Kenya (Shell Licensee in Africa).
“The foundation of good healthcare is built on quality diagnosis, which PathCare Kenya has built for the last two decades, becoming the quality leader in the healthcare diagnostic industry. My mandate from the board is to leverage on this strong quality foundation to take the business to the next level through rapid expansion that will see PathCare Kenya accessible to the people across the country.”
His appointment comes at a time PathCare Kenya has embarked on an expansion strategy to open new branches in more than 20 new counties where PathCare lacks physical presence. Currently, the firm has 14 branches positioned in major towns across the country.
“We believe that confining the quality that PathCare has built in the last 20 years to only major towns will lock out the majority of Kenyans who equally need access to quality medical diagnosis,” he adds.
PathCare Kenya, through its strategic alliance with PathCare South Africa, additionally plans to increase its in-house diagnostic capacity through molecular and other specialised testing.
“Healthcare is now a devolved function. If you look at the entire 47 counties in Kenya, most of them are building their own county referral hospitals. That means there are new pockets of opportunities where doctors and clinicians are opening clinics in the counties and they therefore need a partner in medical laboratory and diagnostic space to better manage their patients,” Samwel points out.
As part of its expansion plan, the firm is looking to pursue strategic partnerships with hospitals and other major players in the health sector. PathCare Kenya also targets to localise some of the specialised tests previously performed outside Kenya as referrals, hence reducing the volume of tests being sent out of the country. PathCare Kenya strongly believes that Kenyans have the capability and capacity to perform most tests locally.
“As we roll out this strategically planned expansion, one of the things that we will be doing is working to ensure that we retain quality as the critical DNA of the business,” adds the new Managing Director.
His appointment comes at a time when global capital and private equity funds are making increased investment in Kenya’s healthcare industry, demonstrating resilience and opportunities in the sector.
“Dr Radia will focus on growing and maintaining the clinical quality and technological advancement of our laboratory services. Our role as an organisation is to ensure that we are making similar strides on the business side,” says Samwel.