Treasury to give nod on Sh6.5 billion Kisumu hospital

Construction of a Sh6.5 billion referral hospital could begin soon in Kisumu.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said yesterday the National Treasury was scrutinising the proposed project that will see a 250-bed hospital built under a public-private partnership.

“Once we have the nod from the Treasury, it will be all systems go for the construction of Level Seven Victoria Hospital and Cancer Centre,” Prof Nyong’o said through his communication officer, Aloice Ager.

He said the county was in the process of securing a title deed for the eight acres earmarked for the hospital.

It is not clear how long it will take to secure the green light from the Treasury but Nyong’o was optimistic that groundbreaking could happen in the next two months.

Three months ago, Kisumu signed a deal with a team of 15 doctors under Victoria Development Company Ltd (Vidco) to build the hospital in efforts to improve access to specialised healthcare.

The project will comprise a hospital, a nursing school, funeral parlour, doctors’ residence and a hotel.

The Vidco team led by Joseph Aluoch said the decision was informed by the need to bridge the specialised healthcare gap and lower costs for those seeking such services.

He said doctors drawn from India and the UK would offer specialised care “at greatly subsidised rates”.

Dr Aluoch said the hospital would be founded on Indian models where “the patient belongs to the hospital and can be attended to by various doctors rather than just one".

But some doctors working for the national government have expressed reservations about the idea of taking over Victoria Hospital. They argue that once taken over, the public hospital will be out of reach for most patients.

"I think this decision is rushed," said a senior doctor who asked not to be named.