State to spend Sh38 billion on modern equipment for two hospitals in every county

The government will fund the supply of modern healthcare equipment to two hospitals in each county over the next 10 years, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Uhuru said the Sh38 billion will cater to theatre, surgical and sterilisation, lab, kidney dialysis, ultrasound and imaging and digital x-ray equipment.

He said intensive care facilities will also be provided.

“We want to collaborate with county governments and the medical profession to ensure that Kenyans travel abroad for treatment only because they want to, and not because they have to,” Uhuru said.

He was speaking during the signing of contracts for the Managed Equipment Services project at State House, Nairobi on Friday.

Uhuru said the project to be launched in a year is fully financed by the government through the Health ministry.

He said a “transparent, cost-effective and innovative financing system” has been put in place to ensure sustainability.

The companies contracted to supply the equipment will install, maintain and replace it, he said.

They will provide direct installation infrastructure and train medical engineers, health workers and ICT experts.

They are General Electric (United States, radiology), Philips (Netherlands, ICU), Belico SRL (Italy, Renal dialysis equipment), Esteem (India, Theatre Central Sterile Services Department) and Mindray Biomedical Company (China, theatre equipment).

Uhuru urged Kenyans to acquire medical insurance.

“This will guarantee every Kenyan’s right to the highest attainable standard of health regardless of their location,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto asked Parliament to hasten plans to transform the National Health Insurance Fund into a social insurance scheme benefiting every Kenyan.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the manufacturers were selected through competitive international bidding.

“The MES project is sustainable as it allows for payments to be staggered over a long time as opposed to upfront payment as is the case with outright purchase,” Macharia added.

Level 4 and 5 hospitals will be selected for the project set to benefit 98 hospitals.