HEALTH PRIORITIES

MPs want 1,000-bed hospital built from funds raised in budget cuts

The members also want the monies spent on the purchase of ventilators.

In Summary

• Lawmakers also want funds deducted from the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive budgets used for the purchase of medical supplies used responding to the pandemic.

• They also prioritised spending on personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers as well as testing and medical equipment.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during his vetting before the Appointments Committee headed by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on February 20, 2020.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during his vetting before the Appointments Committee headed by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on February 20, 2020.
Image: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

MPs want funds saved from budget cuts ring-fenced for the construction of a national health facility for the management and treatment of infectious diseases such as Covid-19.

The National Assembly targets a 1000-bed capacity hospital in the review of the current financial year spending by the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Lawmakers also want funds deducted from the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive budgets used for the purchase of medical supplies used responding to the pandemic.

 
 

The members in a motion moved by Leader of Majority Aden Duale on Tuesday want the monies spent on the purchase of ventilators.

They also prioritised spending on personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers as well as testing and medical equipment.

Duale said there was the need to cushion the country from both the short and long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parliament commended healthcare workers and service providers “for their selfless efforts, commitment to service, care and compassion towards persons infected or affected by the virus.”

MPs have a full in-tray as they are required to ratify laws and directives to help the government mitigate the effects of the coronavirus.

In the guidelines released by Muturi on Sunday, only the designated members will be allowed in the House. The directive locked out 296 members.

The leadership of the National Assembly says all is set for the sitting and members will be facilitated to attend.

 
 

Leader of Majority Aden Duale said the agenda of the special sitting, which was called off on April 8, will be the business.

 Members will pass the Tax Laws Bill in all stages and deal with the Covid 19 Emergency Fund regulations, VAT regulations, and regulations by the Health ministry with measures to contain the virus.

The specific instruments the House will consider are the Public Health (Prevention, Control & Suppression of Covid 19) Rules, 2020, the Public Finance Management (Covid 19 Emergency Response Fund) Regulations, 2020 and the Value Added Tax (Amendment of the Rate of Tax) Order, 2020.

The others are the Public Order (State Curfew) Order, 2020, Public Health Act - Declaration of Notifiable Disease and the Public Health (Declaration of Formidable Disease) Order, 2020.

Duale said he would move a procedural motion on the calendar for a way forward following the virus emergency. The Garissa Township MP said the deliberation will be on whether members would sit once a week or the House is adjourned for another two weeks.

“The calendar of the House outside the special sittings framework is for members to decide.”

Speaker Justin Muturi is expected to pass to MPs a message by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani on the nomination of the CDF board CEO.

The CS nominated the acting CEO Yusuf Mbuno to the post after MPs rejected his initial choice of Mohammed Abdille.

Parliament will also sit for the conveyance of any other messages from the Senate and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration. There will also be a notice of motion for consideration of approval of Teachers Service Commission nominees.


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