The County Government of Machakos has been remitting up to Sh 200 million annually to the national government as fee for medical equipment leased to counties under the Medical Equipment Scheme program.
Appearing before the House Appointment Committee, Health CEC nominee Dr. Ancent Kituku Nzioka said the national government was charging the county between Sh130 and Sh.200 million every year for the state of art medical equipment that were leased to all the 47 counties in 2015 at a cost of Sh. 38 billion.
Dr. Nzioka who was nominated by Governor Dr Alfred Mutua nevertheless underscored the huge benefits of the scheme to residents of the county who he said were now in a position to access quality healthcare.
But the officer was quick to inform the members of the committee that many things remain unclear in regards to the equipment, including how long counties will continue paying for them.
“The agreement on how these equipment were brought is not very clear to the counties .Of course when we do the cost benefit analysis, definitely they are helping to offer quality healthcare to our people. But it is not clear how long these equipment are going to be paid for,” he told the committee members.
Mwala/Makutano Ward representative John Kioko took the nominee to task over the state of affairs at the Mwala level four hospital and requested to know what measures the county government was undertaking to improve services at the facility.
In response, Dr. Nzioka said there was ongoing works at the facility to put up a modern theater within the next two months.
He further disclosed that the national government had promised to help equip the hospital with necessary kits once the theater room is complete.
“The theater for Mwala Level four is almost complete. In the next two months it will be operational .We already have assurance from the national government that once the theater is complete, necessary equipment will be brought within a period of two months,” he added.
The nominee said at the moment the hospital had a medical doctor and was offering minor surgeries as they await for the completion of the modern theater.
The Ministry of Health signed a Sh 38 billion leasing deal in 2015 to equip county hospitals with more than 95 high-end medical equipment to help manage and treat non-communicable diseases such as Cancer and Diabetes.
However, many of these equipment are wearing at various hospitals after several counties claimed they lack the necessary human personnel to manage them.
By Samuel Maina