• Pharmacists roots for enhancement of public-private partnerships to realise the Universal Health Care.
• Governor Alfred Mutua recently revoked business permits of all private health facilities in a radius of 300 metres from public health institutions.
Governors have been told to tighten security in public hospitals to curb theft of drugs instead of shutting down health facilities in their proximity.
Thika-based pharmacist Elias Ndung’u said that public-private partnerships should be enhanced to realise the Universal Health Care.
“The governors know very well that they cannot stock all drugs in the public facilities. For example, some patients require supplements in urgent cases and they can only be gotten from the chemists and pharmacies, "Ndung'u, who is vying for the Kenya Pharmacists Association chairmanship said.
He condemned county bosses who have closed or intend to close private health facilities near public hospitals, saying that this will not solve the theft of drugs.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua recently revoked business permits of all private health facilities in a radius of 300 metres from public health institutions in the county. Nineteen people were also arrested.
Mutua accused the private facilities of exploiting residents by overcharging them for medical services rendered for free at public hospitals and stocking drugs stolen from the public hospitals.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has also warned that his administration will crack down on private health facilities in a radius of one kilometre of major public health facilities in Thika, Kiambu and Gatundu Level 5 hospitals.
Ndung’u said in Thika that instead of shutting down the private businesses, the county chiefs should consider sealing all loopholes used by their officials and cronies to steal medicines and medical equipment.
“Let those stocking stolen government drugs be penalised according to the law but don’t incriminate other legitimate businesses.”
The pharmacist blamed cartels running and controlling the drugs business for the proliferation of quacks.
“Those in the leadership positions of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board have put in place draconian rules that are exploited by quacks. He quoted the six-year rule that bars graduates from practising before they are six years in employment.
“Where else in the world does a professional have to wait for six years in order to get be licensed to work in a field in which he is already qualified? This is the reason many students aren’t taking pharmacy and it’s detrimental to the country,” Ndung’u said.
There are only 20,000 pharmacists serving 50 million people.
The KPA elections are scheduled for July 18 to 20 to be held at PrideInn Hotel in Mombasa.