NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has called on his fellow governors to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to make universal healthcare a reality.
Speaking during the African Inland Church’s Kijabe Hospital centennial celebrations which were presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, Kabogo said county governments should put the interests of the Kenyan public first and what was in their best interest, he submitted, is universal healthcare.
“County governments need to join you in the move to make Kenya a universally conscience healthcare state by joining what we would call the ‘Uhurucare’ NHIF programme so that every other person in Kenya has capacity to be able to be treated in our hospitals,” he said in a spin-off of what has popularly come to be known as ‘Obamacare’.
His plea came as the Council of Governors petitioned the Senate to investigate the Sh34 billion medical equipment acquisition plan that seeks to equip two hospitals per county with dialysis and other specialised equipment through lease financing.
“We’ve got 94 hospitals which we’re looking at, two per county and as up to 7,000 Kenyans are going to India, South Africa for treatment at a cost of Sh10 billion every year, we’re looking at 400 dialysis machines from the current 44,350 ICU beds from 66 in the entire country then for cancer only Kenyatta and Moi provide proper treatment so we want to expand that to the 11 previously called provincial general hospitals,” Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia explained to Capital FM.
The governors insist they were not consulted and are now being forced to sign contracts whose details they are not privy to.
In the petition presented by Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar Hassan, the governors accused the national government of holding to functions which had already been devolved.
The petition also questions the intention of the Ministry of Health in sending World Bank funds directly to health centers and dispensaries which are under them accusing the ministry of overstepping its mandate.
During the signing of agreements to implement the project that will see every county have two hospitals fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, governors snubbed the event saying they were not party to it as they had not been consulted.