NAIROBI, September 29 – The plan by the State to upgrade public hospitals around the country is expected to get a major boost once an agreement of Sh2.8 billion is signed with the Dutch government.
Medical Services Permanent Secretary Professor James ole Kiyiapi on Monday said the money would be used to improve 23 public health facilities, which include six provincial hospitals and 17 district hospitals. He said about Sh1.3 billion would be a grant while the rest would be given as a soft loan.
“Our health system is completely overwhelmed and that’s not acceptable in terms of quality because we also have to prevent cross infection of various diseases. We want to improve the capacity of hospitals such as New Nyanza General hospital in Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Embu, Garissa and Mombasa provincial hospitals,” he said.
Professor Kiyiapi said that this would be a five year project adding that the agreement would be signed before October 11. He added that the agreement had a maintenance contract that allows the company that would do the upgrade to maintain the facilities for five years after the completion.
“The agreement was such that to benefit from this grant we have to partner with a Dutch international company that does similar things all over the world,” he revealed.
Last week Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana announced that the government had committed Sh550 million to upgrade 25 public hospitals in this financial year.
The PS was speaking at the opening of the second annual Afrihealth conference where he also said that the ministry was in the process of introducing Information Communication Technology (ICT) in hospitals to improve service delivery. He said the introduction of ICT would also effectively deal with the shortage of doctors in the country since they would not be required to be physically present in a facility.
“The idea is that we want to link the rural facilities to the more developed referral systems so that for example a doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital can give a prescription to a patient who is in a small health clinic in another part of the country,” he said.
“If a nurse did all the diagnosis and then passed that information to a doctor via email or whatever technology, the doctor can be in a position to respond and advice on the right treatment for the patient,” he added.
The theme of the conference was ‘Changing the Pace of Health Care in Africa’.