KNH seeks Sh485m for disaster victims
Posted Thursday, May 31 2012 at 22:30
Kenyatta National Hospital has requested Sh485 million from Treasury to cover waivers on treatment of victims of grenade attacks and related disasters.
KNH has been treating most of the victims who are brought to its causality unit whenever there is a disaster. Read (Nairobi blast victim dies in hospital)
In such cases, some victims are unable to pay their medical bills, requiring the institution to exercise its social protection responsibility in handling the less-fortunate in society. The amount requested would cater for waivers, exceptions in emergency cases.
However, the institution’s request has not been granted by the Treasury going by the estimates that have been laid before Parliament for scrutiny ahead of the official release of the 2012/2013 Budget.
The Parliamentary Committee on Health has asked Treasury to make the money available by increasing the 2012/2013 budgetary allocation to the largest referral hospital in the country to enable it meet its needs.
The total amount the hospital requested is Sh800 million but the Treasury has provided only Sh200 million, leaving a balance of Sh600 million.
The amount was requested to procure urgent equipment, according to the Parliamentary Committee on Health, which scrutinised the 2012/2013 budget estimates for the ministries of Medical Services and Public Health and Sanitation.
Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, on the other hand, requested Sh500 million to urgently buy equipment, but was granted only Sh200 million in the estimates.
The House committee has concluded that the allocation to the sector is below the 15 per cent stipulated amount as per the Abuja Declaration to which Kenya is a signatory.
The total resource requirement for the Medical Services ministry is Sh67.7 billion for the 2012/2013 financial year, but only Sh44.15 billion is reflected in the budget estimates being considered by Parliament.
According to the committee, the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) has been the biggest loser in budgetary allocations to semi-autonomous government agencies and fund accounts under the Ministry of Medical Services.
Overall allocation to Kemsa is on a downward trend, with an average decrease of 56 per cent in budgetary allocation for the last three financial years.
During investigations on alleged irregularities in the civil servants medical cover scheme, the committee heard that shortage of drugs continues to be a major challenge in public hospitals.
Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno told the committee that government health facilities depend on Kemsa for supply of drugs, which he said are inadequate and irregular.
“All government facilities have challenges in the supply of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals,” he said.
No clear policy
According to the minister, there is no clear policy on how to address the shortage.
He said most of the government’s medical superintendents have indicated that they normally get essential drugs only and are at times forced to request patients to buy drugs from pharmacies.