By Peter Oliver Ochieng
Public health facilities in Kakamega County, Kenya are expected to operate smoothly devoid of financial hiccups, after Governor Wycliffe Oparanya unveiled the County’s Health Facilities Fund.
The fund is penciled on providing a central pool of money to help run operations in the vast County. It is expected to provide a predictable, regular and steady source of income to finance operations in public hospitals.
A section of public health institutions across the Country, have over the years failed to provide quality and timely health care services, because of over reliance on the national and county treasury for funding.
The fund will ensure that money raised from provision of services in public health facilities will be ploughed back, with a view of providing timely and quality services, said Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
“The Kakamega Health Facilities Fund will see a steady, regular and predictable source of funding for health facility operations across the county. This fund will ensure that money generated by the health facilities is ploughed back to enhance quality and expanded services to the people,” he said.
“I wish to restate my commitment to making health care provision a top priority of my government in line with the big four agenda. It is my vision to make Kakamega health care services the best in the country,” Oparanya added.
The new fund will operate under the Kakamega County Health Facilities Improvement Fund Regulations, 2020, after the guidelines were developed in line with the Public Finance Management Act.
The Governor said that under the fund, all public hospitals will generate their own revenue and spend the cash. However, the annual health allocation will continue to be made by the county treasury as has always been the case.
Each of the facilities will have a committed office, otherwise known as health facilities management committee which is answerable to the fund’s secretariat.
“It is my belief that if properly implemented, the many challenges experienced by the facilities will be a thing of the past. Besides, the kitty will stimulate increased revenue collection by health facilities and provide an alternative source of funding for the facilities,” said Oparanya.
In order to ensure accountability, the governor said the secretariat will be charged with day today running of the fund, offer guidance on prudent use of the funds and submit timely reports to the County treasury.
Besides unveiling the fund, governor Oparanya also commissioned a new 10-bed-capacity Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the County referral hospital, bringing the total number of state-of-the-art lCU beds at the facility to 19.