Kenyans may not get value for money in the Sh38 billion medical equipment scheme for counties after it emerged that some of the equipment acquired are not for specialised purposes.
According to a statement tabled on the floor of the House and signed by outgoing Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri, equipment like refrigerators , microwave ovens, trolleys, spotlights and washing basins are listed as part of the specialised equipment acquired for 11 level five hospitals.
The programme funded by national government through conditional allocations to counties was aimed at providing 98 hospitals across the county with modern theatre equipment, surgical and sterilisation equipment, laboratory equipment, kidney dialysis equipment, ICU facilities, digital X-ray machines, ultrasound and imaging equipment.
Senators raised questions on whether all the equipment package which also contained gloves, stethoscopes and bedside lockers can be termed as specialised equipment to be included in the scheme.
The senators, led by minority leader Moses Wetangula, demanded the chairman of health committee Wilfred Machage (Migori), to table a copy of the contract documents signed between counties and the national government so that the House can ascertain the meaning of “specialised medical equipment”.
“How can he (Machage) justify that refrigerators , trolleys and microwaves are specialised equipment for which Kenyans are paying billions of shillings? This is an outrageous statement Mr Speaker!” Exclaimed Wetangula.
The senator dismissed attempts by Machage to defend his answer and asked the deputy speaker Kembi Gitura to defer his response on the statement until the original contract is tabled.