Kenyans in every part of the country will soon enjoy specialised healthcare through an innovative project where medical equipment manufacturers install and manage modern machines in hospitals.
President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday presided over the signing of agreements to implement the Managed Equipment Services project that will see every county in Kenya have two hospitals fully equipped with the state of the art facilities.
The project, which will be fully financed by the national government to the tune of Sh38 billion, will provide each of the selected hospitals with modern theatre equipment, surgical and sterilisation equipment, laboratory equipment, kidney dialysis equipment, ICU facilities, digital X-ray machines, ultrasound and imaging equipment.
The facilities will be provided under an arrangement where reputable and international manufacturers of medical equipment are contracted to install, maintain and replace machines at the hospitals.
Uhuru said the move to fund the modernisation of healthcare services in the counties is part of the Government’s vision of transforming the health sector to meet the challenges and lay the foundation of Kenya’s development.
“Today is an overdue milestone. Today, we inaugurate a programme through which people with cancer, diabetes or kidney failure will receive much needed relief, and begin to work towards regaining their full health with more confidence,” said the President.
The Government will invest Sh38 billion over the next 10 years to finance this innovative plan that will ensure Kenyans lead healthy and productive lives.
“One of the areas where inequality manifests itself most starkly in our country is access to quality healthcare. This inequality, literally, is a matter of life and death. It is our irrevocable commitment to deliver equal access to high quality treatment to all Kenyans wherever they live, and regardless of their economic status,” said the President when he spoke after the signing ceremony at State House, Nairobi.
Deputy President William Ruto said the project was a milestone in Kenya’s transformation process.
He said the provision of modern specialized equipment in two hospitals in every county will completely change the health care provision sector in Kenya.
The Deputy President also called on Parliament to hasten plans to transform the NHIF into a social insurance scheme to benefit every Kenya.
The companies that have been contracted to install the machines are General Electric from the United States (radiology), Philips from Netherlands (ICU), Belico SRL from Italy (Renal dialysis equipment), Esteem Co. Ltd from India (Theatre Central Sterile Services Department) and Mindray Biomedical Co. Ltd of China (theatre equipment).
The project will be fully financed by the National Government through the ministry of health and the contracted vendors will provide direct infrastructure for the installation of the medical equipment.
The service providers shall also provide training to key users of the equipment including medical engineers, health workers and ICT experts.
Besides providing citizens with uninterrupted and quality specialized health services regardless of their location in Kenya, the project will enable the health sector to experience long term savings due to integrated service provision strategy and economies of scale.
“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,” said the Cabinet Secretary for Medical Service Dr James Macharia.
The Cabinet Secretary said the procurement of the service was done through international competitive bidding.
The tenders were strictly restricted to reputable equipment manufacturers and due diligence carried out to ensure that successful bidders have the capacity to deliver on their obligations.
The project, which will be rolled out over a 12 month period, will transform health care provision in Kenya.
The project, when completed, will make Kenya have the best equipped hospitals in Sub Saharan Africa. Similar projects have been implemented in the UK, Spain and Netherlands.
President Kenyatta said after the completion of the project, the Government will weigh plans to install such modern machines in all hospitals in the country.
The President also urged Kenyans to be registered with NHIF, saying that many Kenyans are driven into poverty because they try to meet expenses for chronic illnesses from their pocket.
The function was attended by the Parliamentary committees on health and diplomats from a number of countries