Sh4 million hospital equipment found in guard's house - Daily Nation

Man arrested for theft of county hospital equipment

Wednesday January 2 2019

 Patrick Macharia, Migori County

Migori OCPD Patrick Macharia (left) displays some of the items stolen from Migori County Referral Hospital on January 2, 2019. They were found in the house of one of the the hospital's security guards. PHOTO | VIVERE NANDIEMO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVERE NANDIEMO
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Police in Migori have arrested a guard suspected to be part of a group of people that has been stealing medicine and equipment from Migori County Referral Hospital.

Police officers, who were acting on a tip-off, recovered equipment worth Sh4 million which had been stolen from the hospital.

Police officers say they trailed the guard to his home on New Year’s day where they arrested him and recovered the equipment.

THEFT RING

Migori OCPD Patrick Macharia said the equipment found in the guard's house included an X-ray machine, theatre equipment, a fridge, TV set, a computer and several chairs.

"The guard will be brought before court after investigations have been completed," said Mr Macharia.

Senior officials at the hospital confirmed the equipment were from the hospital and have recorded statements with police.

"It is very unfortunate that people would steal from a hospital," said one hospital official.

The Nation has learnt that some officials at the facility have formed a ring stealing medicine and medical equipment. The ring, police detectives suspect, involves some senior officials, medics and security guards.

PRESCRIBED DRUGS

The stolen items are sold to private clinics in Migori town and in neigbouring Tanzania. Some of the medics in the facility are said to own private clinics and are alleged to be stocking the clinics with medicine stolen from the county hospital.

Governor Okoth Obado last year complained that drugs and equipment meant for public hospitals in the county are sold off by staff in Tanzania.

Patients at the hospital have been complaining over shortage of drugs after being told to buy prescribed drugs elsewhere.

"This hospital is a big let-down. Every time, one is told to buy medicine as the hospital has run out of medical supplies. This has been the situation for some time now," said a resident of Migori town.

Mr Obado said corruption at the referral hospital was so rife that even a corpse can be smuggled outside the morgue for only Sh50 bribe at the gate.

In 2016, the governor said county will fast track the installation of electronic stock machine for equipment and medicine to avoid pilferages and theft. It is yet to take place.