Health sector gets lion's share of Kakamega's Sh17.3b budget

Kakamega Level Six Teaching and Referral Hospital located in Kakamega County. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

Kakamega ward representatives have unanimously passed the county budget estimates for the financial year 2023/2024, with recurrent expenditure and development getting the lion’s share of the Sh17.37 billion budget.

Recurrent expenditure will gobble up Sh11.4 billion, representing 64.47 per cent of the total budget while Sh6.3 billion (35.53 per cent) has been earmarked for development.

The health sector will now get Sh4.64 billion translating to 26.6 per cent of the budget while Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Co-operatives will get Sh1.408 billion. During the consideration session, members of the County Assembly (MCAs) said they allocated more funds to health to enable hospitals to get essential drugs, equipment, and medical personnel and improved infrastructural development.

Kakamega Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman who is also Butsotso South MCA Gildon Shioso said the proposals were geared towards improving the lives of locals.

Shioso said the budget was aligned with Governor Fernandes Barasa’s six-point development agenda, which aims to among other things turn around the health infrastructure and education sector.

He said the county targets to equip all health facilities, complete the level-six referral hospital, and strengthen Universal Health Coverage.

“We allocated more funds to health because we had recruitment of clinical officers and nurses to our dispensaries to ensure the governor’s manifesto of improving the health services in the county hence service delivery is achieved. That is why the sector is a big beneficiary of this budget,” said Shioso.

In the approved budget, Sh300, 000 million has been allocated for hiring medical personnel in the county to improve service delivery.

Another Sh25 million has been set aside to provide National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards for the Community Health Promoters, and their families on top of a Sh2,500 monthly stipend up from Sh2,000 to help improve the primary health care system.

To finance the budget, the county intends to collect Sh2.2 billion from own-source revenue on top of Sh12.9 billion equitable revenue received from the National Treasury and Sh500 million from conditional grants.

The Public Service and Administration department has been allocated 10.52 per cent translating to Sh1.827 billion with Education, Science, and Technology docket getting Sh1.625 billion.

MCAs allocated Sh1.432 billion to the Transport and Infrastructure department, while the County Assembly will get Sh1.335 billion, which will majorly fund recurrent expenditure.

The Social Services, Youth, and Sports docket will get Sh1.280 billion while the Department of Trade, Finance, and Economic Planning has been allocated Sh932 million. Industrialisation and Tourism will be getting Sh850.8 million.

Lands, Housing, Urban Areas and Physical Planning department will get Sh685 million. The Water, Environment and Natural Resources sector has been allocated Sh573.5 million.

The Office of the Governor will receive Sh473.49 million while ICT, e-government and Communications will get Sh220 million.