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Sh38 billion medical equipments to counties stir controversy in Senate

PHOTO:COURTESY

Counties have been diverting the Sh4.5 billion they are allocated each year to lease specialised medical equipment to other uses.

It has emerged that instead of using the money to lease modern theatre equipment, surgical and sterilisation equipment, laboratory equipment, kidney dialysis equipment, ICU facilities, digital X-ray machines, ultrasound and imaging equipment, the billions have been going to non-specialised apparatus.

The money has been allocated under the controversial Sh38 billion Medical Leasing Equipment Scheme by the national government which governors had vehemently opposed.

The programme was aimed at providing 98 hospitals across the counties with modern equipment for better healthcare.

A report handed to the Senate by the outgoing Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri shows county government have been using the billions to buy items such as refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, trolleys, spotlights and basins and went ahead to list them as as part of the specialised equipment acquired for 11 level five hospitals.

According to the report tabled by Health Committee chairman, Migori Senator Wilfred Machage, in the House yesterday, the funds did not serve their intended purposes.

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The report ignited a fierce debate as senators censured the ministry for breaching the law. The allocation is provided for in the County Allocation of Revenue Act.

 

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