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Review equipment deal



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The plan to lease medical equipment for counties was well intentioned.

It was a strategy to equip county referral hospitals with fairly-priced equipment to minimise referrals to Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi University Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

However, it has turned out to be a thorny deal.

Initially governors rejected it saying they had belatedly been pulled into a contract they did not understand.

Further, there was concern that the equipment was being deployed to hospitals without the personnel to operate them or proper infrastructure to install them.

Now, the Senate has summoned Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki to explain why the cost of the equipment lease has been increased, pushing counties into huge debts.

Health provision has been a challenge to the counties. However, we have witnessed improvement of health facilities at the grass roots.

Even so, the central government still wields unexplained powers on health management, putting it at war with the counties. But the counties are not flawless either.

They are struggling with managing medical personnel and utilising equipment.

On the whole, something is wrong with the equipment leasing deal.

In the fullness of time, the counties, and for that matter, the citizens, will find themselves with unusable equipment that they have to pay for heavily, but without commensurate value.

This is why the Senate must ask tough questions and get to the bottom of the problem.

It is a scandal in waiting and the earlier it was investigated and averted, the better for the citizens.

Counties must be let free to manage health services according to their plans.

The deal of leased medical equipment must be thoroughly interrogated and vexed issues resolved.