Plans to transfer Sh8b stalled rural hospital to State splits ward reps

The Kakamega Level Six Teaching and Referral Hospital. [Bernard Lusigi, Standard]

MCAs have clashed over the transfer of the Sh8 billion stalled Kakamega Teaching and Referral Level Six Hospital to the national government for completion.

The leaders differed on the transfer process during an executive and assembly consultative meeting chaired by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya in Kisumu yesterday.

At the forum, some MCAs suggested that the county should borrow money from donors to complete the project while others endorsed the handover.

MCA Jatson Lutomia challenged the county to look for donor funding rather than gifting the hospital to the State.

“The county should source extra funds from donors, partners and even a loan from the national government to complete the facility,” said Lutomia.

Samuel Limisi proposed that the national government should give back the money that the county had spent on the hospital.

Timothy Aseka said the interest of the county should come first since the facility was a local project that was meant to benefit locals.

Another MCA, Imera Sakwa, backed the handover but said locals should be considered for employment at the facility.

Health Committee chairman Lucas Radoli said MCAs will be given a final opportunity to deliberate on the matter on the floor of the house next week.

Health Executive Collins Matemba told MCAs that it will require Sh13 billion annually to run the Level Six Hospital “but erratic disbursement of funds from the National Treasury makes our effort to complete the hospital impossible.”

“The county receives Sh15 billion from the national government annually against Sh13 billion expected to run the hospital. That’s why we see it prudent for the State to take over because Section 187 of the Constitution allows for the transfer of county functions back to the national government under special circumstances,” said Matemba.

Governor Oparanya told MCAs during the meeting that handing over the project to the national government will ensure its completion so that locals could enjoy critical health services closer to them.

“The county government intends to transfer the structure and 10-acre land that the facility sits on because it does not have the capacity to complete its construction and to hire 5,000 health personnel to the 32 theatres some of whom are required to offer highly specialized medical services,” said Oparanya.

Early this year, the governor initiated the transfer process of the stalled 750-bed capacity project to the national government, citing delays in the disbursement of funds from the Treasury.

He said completion of the hospital will guarantee locals quality healthcare.

“We have agreed that some residents will be part of the board of management and others will be hired as medics so that they continue owning the idea they started, representing the interests of the locals, and ensuring the aim of the project is accomplished,” said Oparanya, who is finishing his term in office this year.

A motion to transfer the facility is expected to be tabled in the House next week for deliberation by members.