Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has assured city residents of quality healthcare provision in all county public hospitals.
On Tuesday, during the inauguration of the management board members of Pumwani, Mama Lucy, Mbagathi and Mutuini hospitals, Sonko said he is committed in ensuring that all Nairobians have access to quality health care.
“My government takes health very seriously. It is the reason why the sector takes the lion’s share of the annual budget of Sh6.2 billion, translating to 23 per cent of the total allocation,” said Sonko.
He said the 32 individuals who were appointed to sit in the various hospital boards have a critical role to play in providing overall guidance on how Nairobi health facilities should operate.
He said the boards have an immediate challenge to resolve, which is, inadequate staffing levels.
“We don’t have enough doctors, nurses, clinical officers and other medical workers. We need to recruit more but we are also constrained by our budget,” said Sonko.
He challenged the board members to be creative and look for ways on how the private-public-partnership can succeed in financing of health facilities within the Capital City.
“One way is to fundraise by appealing to partners who have financing for health projects. For example, we recently found a partner to build and furnish the patient waiting lobby at Mbagathi Hospital. We are also discussing with another corporate to expand the maternity at the same hospital so as to end the problem of mothers sharing beds at facility,” said Sonko.
He added that there are many more organizations out there willing to support, however, the boards cannot build partnerships with donors if money they give is misappropriated.
“It is your duty to carefully look at the accounts of the facilities and ensure that they are getting value for goods and services procured. My administration has a zero tolerance to corruption and anyone who misuses money, whether it is our own-source revenue or money from development partners will have to face the law,” warned Sonko.
At the same time, Sonko said they are currently in talks with various workers unions to address the concerns of promotions, right-placement and other welfare issues.
“Our County Public Service Board currently has no quorum after the term of most board members expired, but we hope to have a new board in place very soon, to handle these issues of recruitment and promotion,” he said.
He also challenged the board to liaise with relevant regulatory bodies to ensure that pharmacies and chemists situated close to public facilities are not stocking medicines stolen from government clinics.
“If you have evidence that such malpractice is going on, do not hesitate to take action to have them shut down. There are also incidents where goods have been supplied and received, only for them to vanish because it has been diverted. You should demand vigilance and accountability from the management to ensure this does not happen,” he said.