Patients seeking simple amoeba tests at Murang’a District Hospital are being referred to specific private laboratories in town.
Angered by reports of the scam, Governor Mwangi wa Iria made an impromptu visit to the hospital's laboratory and warned the technologists against sending patients to private facilities for tests unless authorised by the hospital superintendent.
“We cannot have a situation where patients will be directed to facilities where they spend thousands of shillings for treatment yet the government has a Sh700 million allocation for drugs,” said the governor.
During the visit, patients shared their tribulations at the hands of the health workers, who they said directed them to private labs and pharmacies for drugs and services readily that were readily available at the hospital.
The governor later visited a private laboratory in town to find out why patients were being sent there.
"It is a private business that must be supported but the concern is that public servants have been sending patients there for the sake of kick backs depending on the numbers,” he said.
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He ordered the hospital laboratory to restock more testing equipment to stop the trend, and directed County Health and Sanitation Executive Joseph Mbai to move his office to the district hospital for easy monitoring of operations and prevent corruption.
Last week, Mr Mbai wrote to one of the private laboratories notifying of impending investigations following increased complaints from residents.
During the governor's tour of the county's largest medical facility, it emerged that the water supply was disconnected seven years ago and that the hospital had been relying on boreholes.
However, borehole system collapsed last week, resulting in a crisis at the hospital.
“The hospital management has failed to co-ordinate the reconnection of water after the borehole system collapsed on Tuesday night. Does it require intervention of the governor to have the water reconnected and repairs done on the borehole?” he asked.