, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – The Ministry of Medical Services has defended itself against a claim by Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua that it had failed to roll out projects scheduled in the 2009/2010 budget.
Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said on Thursday that they were allocated Sh25 billion in this financial year for recurrent and development expenditure all of which had been utilised.
Terming Mr Kinyua’s allegation a misrepresentation of facts, Professor Nyong’o said personnel emoluments took Sh12.4 billion while parastatals were allocated Sh6.5 billion.
“That means that a total of over Sh18 billion went to emolument and support of parastatals leaving only about Sh7 billion to do other things like buy drugs, equipment for hospitals and do development work like rehabilitating hospitals,” the Minister said.
He said Sh2.1 billion went to procurement of drugs, Sh277 million to equipment, Sh484.7 million to construction and rehabilitation while non-pharmaceuticals and Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) to hospitals and headquarters administration were allocated Sh778 million and Sh2.4 billion respectively.
“We have not fallen short of spending the little money that has been given by the Treasury,” he said.
Professor Nyong’o said the Ministry was facing a shortfall of Sh800 million to buy drugs and that a request had been submitted to Treasury.
“Some money had been allocated but that money is not enough and the problem is that when the disbursement is delayed, the tendering system also gets delayed and then drugs get missing in health facilities,” he explained.
“This hand-to-mouth method of disbursement of funds causes a lot of problems to us and to KEMSA (Kenya Medical Supplies Agency),” he said.
The Minister said the Ministry took seriously social responsibility of providing quality, accessible and affordable health care services to Kenyans through established health systems.
“If you look at our health institutions some of which were established in the middle of the last century those buildings are now grossly inadequate to cater for our people and they need not just rehabilitation but modernisation as well.”
He said the Ministry had no allocation for projects on the economic stimulus package.
“Our population has grown, the diseases have increased, new diseases have emerged, more personnel is needed but the record shows that for the last 25 years there has been very inadequate investment in the health sector and therefore it is not easy to catch up on a 25 year deficit on the improvement of systems.