A special Senate Committee on Health investigating the Sh38 billion medical equipment leased to counties by the national government toured Elgeyo Marakwet on Friday to check on the status of the medical equipment in the county.
The medical equipment was meant to help address the challenges of specialized health care.
However, there have been concerns that the medical equipment have not been operationalized and are lying idle despite counties paying Sh200 million yearly.
Committee Chairperson Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Millicent Omanga (Nominated) and Enoch Wambua (Kitui) visited Iten County hospital and inspected the specialized equipment at the facility.
The Committee asked the county government to fast track the installation of the medical equipment in order to reduce distance travelled by patients to access specialized medical care especially for CT scan services.
“The County pays Sh200 million annually for the equipment and it is only fair that local residents benefit from this service. We will be here in two months’ time to check the status. The committee is in possession of a list of all the equipment the counties were to receive from the suppliers and we are counter-checking whether they have been delivered, installed and functional,” said Dullo.
Iten County Referral Hospital is among 36 public health facilities that are being equipped with a CT scan machine through Ministry of Health under the Managed Equipment Services (MES).
Senator Millicent Omanga said the Radiology Unit at the hospital was impressive and asked the management to ensure that all other sections of the hospital are operationalized.
Senator Enoch Wambua said the team will prepare a comprehensive report on the status of the equipment that according to him had generated debate on whether the counties should have been allowed to lease the equipment.
“We just want to have the equipment operate. We are talking about human health and we shouldn’t take chances. The County Health Department should ensure that they [equipment] are not gathering dust,” said Wambua.
Asked why the CT scan facility was not yet operational, Health CEC Kiprono Chepkok said the delay had been necessitated by delay in the upgrading of electricity supply.
“This has now been handled since Kenya Power has fixed the problem. The CT scan equipment will be fully operational by next one or two weeks,” said Chepkok.