“How can a hospital that remits between Ksh4/5 Million per month be allocated a paltry Ksh.1.4 Million and yet it has bills to pay including Ksh.600,000 being spent on recurrent and Ksh. 400,000 on electricity leaving it with nearly zero funds?” Nominated Truphena Asembo
By Andanje Wakhungu- Members of the County Assembly of Kakamega from Malava Sub County have called on the county government to release the funds collected from the Malava Hospital back to the facility. The team consisting of all leaders from the sub-county, both elected and nominated, stood their ground in demanding for the county health department refund the funds the hospitals collected to enable the facility to operate normally.
Speaking during the impromptu friendly oversight tour at the facility the politicians led by the leader of minority and West Kabras MCA David Ndakwa, wondered why the facility Improvement Fund (FIF), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and other collections at the hospital were being transferred at the county revenue department to be distributed to other hospitals within the county and yet those hospitals also collect own revenues.
The leaders who paid a courtesy call to the medical superintendent Dr.Terry Kamau before inspecting other departments within the hospital expressed their concerns over the sorry state of the facility ranging from shortage of staff leading to limited delivery of services.
“We are here today on a fact finding mission to get to know the true status of our hospital a far as service delivery is concerned after a lot of public outcry over the same and at the same time familiarize ourselves with each department, take note of the challenges face and establish a way forward as part of our oversight mandate in the Assembly.”
Ndakwa pointed out that the facility was serving a population of over 280,000 within Malava and yet there was no ambulance with only two outsourced from Jacaranda (a health service provider partnering with the hospital) that has come on board to assist the hospital with antenatal cases and delivery emergencies.
During the tour of the facility, the team discovered that there were insufficient nurses (53) with a deficit of 97, 10 doctors and 6 pharmacists. The team also learnt that the pharmacy was not fully operational especially at night due to insufficient staff and that had resulted in some nurse and security personnel at the hospital redirecting patients to private hospitals within the area, an issue the hospital management confirmed but quickly assured them that the matter has been settled.
It was pointed out how patients coming to the hospital, especially at night were sometimes redirected to one particular private hospital where the owner allegedly colluded with some nurses and some personnel from private security who refer patients to the facility situated along the Malava Kakamega main road for some kickbacks.
The leaders in rejoinder asked the Public Service Board to consider the hospital in their next recruitment drive for medical practitioners, noting that it was the second largest revenue-generating hospital in the county, remitting close to Ksh. 5 Million to the county per month.
The facility has no paediatrician ward, no mosquito nets in the wards, insufficient and dilapidated waiting bays, and walkways not fully instituted, with the wards being in a pathetic state. Nominated MCA Shirugu Mugai and Truphena Asembo and who sits on the health committee criticized the insufficient county allocation to the facility noting that it was too little to offset numerous bills at the hospital.
“How can a hospital that remits between Ksh4/5 Million per month be allocated a paltry Ksh.1.4 Million and yet it has bills to pay including Ksh.600,000 being spent on recurrent and Ksh400,000 on electricity leaving it with nearly zero funds?”
She also called on the Jacaranda team that has partnered with the county government to fully operationalize the newborn wing as it was a sensitive section that needed utmost attention.
How can they bring on board ambulances to ferry pregnant mothers to a hospital that has no fully functional maternity wing, this will expose infants and even mothers to diseases, it is time the county health department took the Malava hospital issues with the seriousness it deserves as it is about the lives of our people they are gambling with.
East Kabras MCA Kefa Musiya pointed out the laundry department had broken down machines subjecting hospital workers to hand wash garments, adding that it posed a health hazard. The equipment should be repaired and new ones installed to avert unnecessary spread of diseases. Others were Manda Shivanga Ward MCA David Kivishi, Chemuche Ward MCA Geoffrey Sikolia, Shirugu Mugai MCA Peter Wanami and the medical superintendent Dr. Terry Kamau.