Uasin-Gishu County is missing out on Sh.500m allocation annually for lack of a Level Five county health facility.
A Parliamentary committee on health has said the county could not access the kitty from the national government because it does not have a “county referral hospital” after the previous district hospital was taken over by Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
The Uasin- Gishu Senator, Margaret Kamar who had accompanied the Senate Health Committee on a fact finding mission on the state of health services at the county expressed disappointment that patients in the county continued to suffer for lack of a county facility.
“Since the former district hospital facilities were upgraded and converted to a national referral hospital and to form part of Moi School of Medicine, simple ailments that could be attended to at county level were being taken to MTRH for attention causing congestion,” Kamar said.
The government disburses Sh.500m to country facilities as conditional grants to upgrade health facilities in counties.
More than 2.5m patients from 10 counties in the north rift and Western region as well as Eastern Uganda and Southern Sudan attend MTRH annually.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr. Michael Mbito said it was unfortunate that health equipment distributed to counties from the national government were lying idle since they were procured without proper data on need and available personnel with expertise to handle the equipment.
“The facilities are lying idle for lack of skilled personnel to operate them. It is disheartening to see infants being placed in boxes because the incubators supplied are not in use,” Mbito said.
The committee members made the remarks at Ziwa sub-county hospital in Uasin-Gishu County on Monday evening.
Dr. Mbito said the concerned departments should have been consulted before the equipment procured under the MES programme were dispatched to the counties.
“It is a waste of taxpayers’ money for the counties to continue paying for equipment not in use,” added the Senator.
170 babies are born at Ziwa hospital on a monthly basis. Dr. Mbito said there was need to improve the facilities at the maternity wing to ensure the infants were born in a conducive environment.
The committee later visited Kesses and Moiben to access the status of health facilities in the sub counties.
By Cynthia Jebet/Kiptanui Cherono