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MCA suggests that health service be reverted to National Government

An  Embu MCA has proposed that the devolved health function be reverted to the National Government, saying it was on the verge of collapse under county governments.

The  Muminji  Ward representative, Newton  Kariuki  said there was little to show in the healthcare system in the seven years it has been under County Governments.

He  said counties were concentrating on constructing structures, but there had been no plans to deploy staff or stocking the built hospitals with drugs.

Kariuki  also lamented that none of the county ambulances bought with much fanfare five years ago was operational.

The  MCA  who spoke on Thursday at the County Assembly Chambers during a plenary sitting narrated to the House how residents of his ward still had to walk for up to 20 kilometres in search of medical facilities, despite having a health centre at Kathanje market.

He revealed that though the hospital was magnificently built and equipped, there were no medics to attend to patients.

Kariuki added that the situation was worsened by the fact that the only hospital that serves his constituents in Siakago closes at 4pm, leaving patients at the mercy of private hospitals which are often unaffordable.

This, he said, was evidence enough that County Governments were unable to handle the health function.

Kariuki also questioned why expectant mothers were required to purchase their own gloves and other nonmedical supplies when going to deliver at public hospitals in Embu County, stating that this was overburdening already distressed families.

He  said he would be petitioning the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce to revert Health  Services to the National Government.

The  Deputy Speaker, Steve Simba accused the County Assembly Health Committee chaired by Ruguru Ngandori MCA, Muturi  Mwombo of laxity, saying the team had not tabled any report on the ailing condition of public hospitals in the county since July 2019.

He challenged the committee to endeavour to address the issues affecting the health sector.

The Runyenjes MCA observed that the health docket eats more than a third of the entire county budget, with more than Sh1.6 billion going to salaries for healthcare personnel and another Sh.1 billion being allocated for operations and maintenance of motor vehicles and buildings, plus development of infrastructure.

Simba conceded that the county was not getting services commensurate with the funds it was injecting into the health sector, adding that urgent measures needed to be taken to address the matter.

By  Steve  Gatheru

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