Kakamega Referral Hospital opening put off

Governor construction is behind schedule because of funding hitches.

In Summary

• Oparanya said he had put steering and technical committees in place to ensure the facility is completed in time and adequately equipped.

• Specialists from top hospitals in the world will be linked to the facility to dispense their services using telemedicine. 

Kakamega County Referral Hospital.
DELAYED: Kakamega County Referral Hospital.

Commissioning of the first phase of the Sh6.2 billion Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital has been put off until June. 

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the contractor could not complete construction of the initial phase because of delayed funding from the Treasury.  

Completion and commissioning of the first phase, comprising a cancer centre, eye, renal, cardiac, diabetic and the intensive care units, have been deferred several times in two years.

Oparanya said he had put steering and technical committees in place to ensure the facility is completed in time and adequately equipped.

He said that the county intends to borrow Sh2 billion from financial institutions to complete the second phase. He toured the facility on Saturday.

The second phase will comprise male and female wards, a school of medicine and a mortuary. Additional medical equipment will be purchased in this phase.

Oparanya said that 3,000 medics including doctors, lab technicians, nurses and support staff will be employed once the hospital is operational.

The facility is expected to improve healthcare in the former Western province and boost medical tourism, which has been virtually nonexistent.

The governor said that the county administration was partnering with doctors from Indian and American institutions to second doctors to the referral hospital to provide quality medical services.

"The hospital will provide telemedicine services in collaboration with advanced hospitals abroad," he said.

The county chief added, "I want this referral hospital to be one of the best facilities in the country."

He said that his administration was in discussion with the national government to upgrade the Kakamega airstrip in Shinyalu to an airport to ease travel for doctors.  

Oparanya said that his aim of putting up the hospital was to save patients the struggle of travelling to Nairobi and Eldoret to seek medical services.  

He said that the hospital will employ 60 doctors from the outset. More will be employed later. 

Already the first phase of the doctors' plaza is complete and the county will construct three plazas to house more.

Oparanya said once the massive project is completed it will change the landscape of Kakamega town.

He said that the project was part of his ambitious programme to upgrade Kakamega town into a city.

(edited by o. owino)