CASH CRUNCH

Medical equipment eating into health budget — Bomet CEC

National government makes huge deductions annually for leased specialised machines.

In Summary

• Deductions have stifled health docket's budget 

• Specialised equipment has helped reduce the expenses incurred by locals who had to seek health services outside the county

Bomet Health executive Joseph Sitonik with patients at Longisa Referral Hospital.
BETTER HEALTH SERVICES: Bomet Health executive Joseph Sitonik with patients at Longisa Referral Hospital.
Image: FELIX KIPKEMOI

Deductions for medical equipment leased from the national government are eating into funds meant for other health programmes in Bomet county, CEC Joseph Sitonik has said. 

Sh95 million was deducted during the first year and another Sh200million the following year. In the next financial year, Sh131 million is set to be deducted from the budget. 

Sitonik said the county is concerned with the inconsistency on the deductions towards the equipment costs. 

 
 

Despite these concerns, the CEC said all the medical equipment leased from the national government in its health facilities is in good condition.

He said the equipment installed at Longisa referral hospital in Bomet East and Ndanai hospital in Sotik have been of great benefit to patients.

“They are all in the good condition save for an X-ray machine at Ndanai which is yet to be operational because we are yet to get a three-phase power supply at the unit but the portable one is working,” he said.

Sitonik said that the specialised equipment has helped reduce the expenses incurred by the locals seeking better health services outside the county.

Recently, the Council of Governors asked Treasury to audit the medical equipment scheme to ascertain its viability. 

The governors said some counties had not received the equipment but were still being deducted for it.  

Sitonik cited shortage of personnel to operate the specialised equipment due to the huge deductions by the national government. 

 
 

“We are facing a shortage of staff to operate these machines since we do not have funds to employ them. All that we had budgeted for the purpose including other programs have been diverted towards the equipment,” he said. 

Speaking to the Star, the official said there were trained medical staff in the county but it faced budget constraints, “otherwise we would recruit them,” he said. 

(Edited by O. Owino)