Governor Barasa appoints team to measure status of health facilities

Council of Governors chairperson Anne Waiguruchats with Kakamega's Fernandes Barasa during status of devolution conference at Safari Park Hotel. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has appointed a team of professionals to inspect health facilities in the county amidst an outcry of poor services as he seeks to streamline the sector.

The team, comprised of people from the medical field, is expected to table a report to the governor in two weeks for further action. 

“After getting the report, I will embark on a comprehensive programme of revamping the sector, which will also include starting the Kakamega County Health Facility Fund as part of the effort to unlock the capacity of our health facilities,” said Barasa.

The team has been tasked to assess the staffing, equipping, land acreage and means of transport in the facilities across the county.

Locals have been concerned with inadequate drugs, essential medical services and poor services at the county’s medical centres, including the Kakamega General Hospital.  

Additionally, the team is to inspect and assess the level of training of healthcare workers even as the county has kicked off the hiring of medics, having set aside Sh 300 Million for the process. 

The county has already set aside Sh59 million for the Health Service Fund to act as seed money for health facilities, the Fund will see all health facilities retain the collections they get for their use.

Governor Barasa also disclosed that he would distribute drugs worth approximately Sh200 million in all our facilities across the county, even as he challenged health service providers to provide quality services to the people per their oath of office.

He expressed his fears that the delayed disbursement of equitable shares to counties from The National Treasury negatively affects services in the health sector. 

“The delays have greatly undermined our plans to dramatically upgrade the level of services in our hospitals, but I assure locals that we will use the available resources prudently for their benefit,” he said. 

Barsa’s deputy Ayub Savula noted that the health sector, which got a Sh639 million allocation for equipment this year, is set for radical reforms.

“Our facilities had a bit of a challenge, but the county government is committed to ensuring our citizens receive the best services in terms of access to services, drugs, and equipment,” said Savula. 

A few weeks ago, the County Assembly Health Committee conducted a fact-finding mission and impromptu visit to health facilities before holding a consultative meeting with top ministry officials. 

Appearing before the committee Health Services CECM Benard Wesonga assured MCA that the management was focused on ensuring all facilities have been stocked with drugs to offer services. 

“We are determined to guarantee the safety of our people (patients) and improve working conditions of our doctors as they discharge service delivery to spur healthcare systems to greater heights,” said Wesonga. 

He said they have put in place the information policy to ensure cartels have no room for interfering with the smooth operations of the hospital for better provision of health care services.

“We have put a system in place to ensure we ring-fence the fund and information so that cartels don’t get access to it, and we are in the process of a health information procurement system that will ensure it guards the facility against cartels,” said Wesonga.