PROBING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Senators question Sh105m increase in lease fees for Port Reitz Hospital

County says the equipment supplied are 100 per cent in use

In Summary

• In Mombasa, the beneficiaries of the MES programme were the Coast General Hospital, Likoni Subdistrict Hospital and the Port Reitz

• Mombasa pays Sh95 million for equipment in CGH and Likoni sub-district hospitals. However, it pays Sh105 million for a equipment in the much smaller Port Reitz hospital. 

Patients at Coast General Hospital Mombasa
Patients at Coast General Hospital Mombasa
Image: FILE

The Senate ad hoc committee on the Medical Equipment Scheme has raised concerns about the difference in charges for leasing equipment sent to three Mombasa hospitals.

The committee is probing the MES national programme and how counties are forced to pay for the equipment to determine whether it is beneficial or not.

On Friday, the committee gave a thumbs up to the Coast General Hospital for the 100 per cent use of the equipment supplied to it.

However, the senators questioned how the cost shot from Sh95 million per year to Sh200 million after the addition of equipment to Port Reitz Hospital.

The beneficiaries of the MES programme were the Coast General Hospital, Likoni Subdistrict hospital and the Port Reitz Hospital.

Mombasa pays Sh95 million for equipment in CGH and Likoni sub-district hospitals.

However, it pays Sh105 million for equipment in the much smaller Port Reitz Hospital. 

The county told the committee they had received equipment for the CGH and the Likoni Subdistrict Hospital.

They intimated that they were yet to receive equipment for Port Reitz Hospital, the smallest of the three hospitals, despite paying for the same.

The Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo-led committee questioned how a supposed last delivery of equipment to Port Reitz led to an increase of Sh105 million in the annual fee payable.

“How can it be that with two hospitals, you were paying Sh95 million per annum, but with the addition of Port Reitz, it shot to Sh200 million yet Port Reitz Hospital is much smaller than the other two hospitals?” posed Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, who is the committee vice-chair.

“It cannot be Sh105 million more,” Ford Kenya party leader said.

The committee said it will find out what happened to the equipment that was supposed to be supplied to Port Reitz.

Chairperson Dullo said though Mombasa has done well, there needs to be clarity on which equipment was supplied and which has not.

“We will go back to the records and suppliers to ascertain the truth,” Dullo said.

“Hospitals in Mombasa and Nairobi cannot be paying the same amount with smaller hospitals in Lamu and Isiolo,”  Wetang'ula said.

Mombasa has trained 40 specialists to make use of the equipment since 2018, a move commended by the Senate committee.

County Health executive Hazel Koitaba said they had also made a wrong assumption that the county will take over the equipment after the expiry of the lease period of seven years.

CGH chief administrator Iqbal Khandawala said the last delivery of the equipment was done last year.

Some of the equipment delivered include renal, laboratory, ICU, radiology and theatre equipment.

Koitaba and county chief health officer Khadija Shikely said they were not much concerned with the amount the county paid because it was not under their purview.

Koitaba said CECs across the country were happy to get equipment.

“We have never sat down to see how much the machines cost because it is dealt with at the Treasury. We focus on how best we give service delivery,” said the CEC.

She, however, said the medical equipment has resulted in increased revenue for the 600-bed capacity referral hospital that is CGH.

In 2017, the hospital used to collect Sh 14 million a month but that shot to an average of about Sh30 million a month by 2018 and currently stands at Sh41 million a month.

Shikely said the increased revenue has enabled them to train more specialist doctors and employ more staff.