A stormy session between the Senate and Ministry of Health over the reasons behind the doubling of the cost of leasing medical equipment for counties ended prematurely.
The Senate had summoned Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki to explain why the cost increased to Sh9.4 billion or Sh200 million each of the 47 devolved units annually up from Sh4.5 billion.
Ms Kariuki tied the rise to the weakening of the shilling against the dollar and purchase of additional equipment for 21 hospitals that were not part of the initial plan.
“Managed Equipment Service (MES) has been expanded to 21 additional hospitals. The need has been necessitated by the need for specialised equipment in the identified hospitals so as to ensure access as the ministry implements the Universal health Care (UHC),” Ms Kariuki told the committee.
“There have been a shilling fluctuation compared to the dollar from February 2015 when commercial contracts were signed. At that time, the exchange rate was 90 but it’s currently about 103 to the dollar.”
Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen, who chaired yesterday’s session, suspended the meeting asking the CS to go and furnish the committee with further details on the MES.
Among the things the CS will have to furnish the committee with are the exact equipment supplied, its cost and when they were supplied.