Kiambu County moots Sh1b kitty to fund services

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi when appeared before the Senate Health Committee on November 8, 2022. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Kiambu County Government has set up a multi-billion hospital fund to finance operations of its healthcare. The county healthcare has been grappling with congestion, lack of drugs, broken-down equipment and dilapidated infrastructure leading to public outcries.  

The Facility Improvement Fund (FIF), which is generated from cash and insurance schemes from services rendered in health facilities and grants from the County Revenue Fund (CRF), has already hit Sh400 million.

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi said he plans to grow the kitty to Sh1 billion by December this year.

This, he said, is meant to ensure there are sufficient cash reserves set aside specifically to run the 114 facilities smoothly. He said the move is meant to improve the county's healthcare whose reputation has been in ruins.

“The county FIF was always operating in the negative where the health sector management would go and borrow to inject in the fund, and anytime the debt was paid, they would go and borrow again so that they could keep hospital operations running,” said Wamatangi.

He was speaking recently after holding a meeting with medical superintendents, accountants and procurement officers.

The FIF kitty is supposed to help respective hospitals run their operations such as the timely purchase of drugs, equipment, renovations, and payment of casual workers among other operation costs.

Under the fund, Wamatangi said all public hospitals generate their revenue and spend the cash specifically on improving the quality of care and providing a steady, regular and predictable source of funding for health operations across the county. The county boss said his administration seeks to implement stringent measures that lock in every penny.

Thika and Kiambu Level Five Hospitals which serve about 1,500 and 1,200 patients daily, respectively, and other facilities such as Igegania, Tigoni, Ruiru, Kigumo, Kihara, Wangige and Githuguri are major contributors to the kitty.

The funds are also being used to undertake the renovation of the existing facilities and construct new facilities which have already been advertised as well as acquire new equipment with Sh150 million.

“All the medical supplies that we are purchasing, none of it is being bought on credit. We order and we pay. And even after ordering and paying for the supply, we still have in excess of Sh300 million in the FIF," said Dr Elias Maina, the health CEC who was also in attendance.

"I intend that by the close of this year, we shall build that fund into more than Sh1 billion."