Drugs boost for counties as Kemsa recovers Sh1.2 billion in accrued debts
The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has resumed supply of drugs to most county health facilities after receiving Sh1.2 billion in outstanding debts owed to them by county governments.
In August, the accrued debts owed to the state medical agency amounted to more than Sh2.2 billion with some dating to almost a year.
However, Kemsa Chief Executive Officer Dr Johan Manjari pointed out that by the end of September, the agency had collected Sh1.2 billion from various counties, although he did not name the counties.
He said more orders are now being placed by the counties to have their medical supply resumed.
“The debt issue is a running case which fluctuates from time to time. However, the debts are being cleared and by end of September Sh1.2 billion had been collected. We thank counties that have prioritised the pending bills,” said Dr Manjari.
He explained that currently Kemsa is processing a Sh66 million order from Nairobi County government but added that the agency only supplies counties which have placed their orders through Kemsa’s Logistics Management Information System (LMIS).
“We operate a revolving funds and we only supply when orders are placed through our LMIS. We are currently dealing with Nairobi County government’s order,” he said.
Nairobi County owes Kemsa the largest amount of debt leading with Sh284 million followed by Kilifi County at Sh138 million, Kitui and Narok have a debt of Sh104 million. Only Isiolo, Machakos and Turkana counties have been given a clean bill of health by Kemsa.
Nonetheless, Dr Manjari said they resumed the supplies in the capital city supplying drugs to different health facilities in Nairobi last week after the Authority and the county reached an agreement on how the debt will be paid.
“Last week we did Sh66 million worth medical supply and a commitment to clear the debt has been shared and agreed upon,” said the Kemsa boss.
Last week, acting Health Executive Veska Kangongo said that City Hall has for the past five days been restocking the county health facilities with 80 percent of the hospitals now having sufficient drugs.
She said that the drugs are supplied and distributed through the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) with main county hospitals including Mama Lucy, Pumwani Maternity, Mbagathi and Mutuini as well as other county health centres being supplied.
“The exercise kicked off on Monday and we have already done 80 percent of our health facilities which are now fully stocked. We now call upon Nairobi residents to visit any of our dispensaries or county hospitals to get the necessary medical attention. We have enough equipment and now enough drugs and I know that we will not be required to buy drugs from outside,” said Ms Kangogo.
OUT OF DRUGS
Ms Kangogo assured that going forward, both the county government and Kemsa have agreed to prompt supply of medicine to all county hospitals observing that there will be no more cases of inefficiency at their health facilities.
She advised city residents to reject referrals to private hospitals or clinics operating close to county facilities, saying that as part of improving health services, the county will soon launch the new Mama Lucy wing which will ease congestion at the county health facilities.
Cases of county health facilities running out of drugs have been reported in the past forcing many residents to spend more for medicine at the hands of private health facilities.
At the same time, Governor Mike Sonko has put on notice county hospital administrators and health officials involved in diversion of drugs, saying those caught diverting county drugs either for personal use or for sale will face the full force of the law.
He claimed that the unscrupulous health officials involved in the act are those running own private clinics where they refer patients even when not necessary.
“This is one of the ways through which unscrupulous medical practitioners. In most cases, they divert the county drugs to their private clinics denying residents much needed drugs. If any member is harassed, threatened or mishandled at any health facility they should report with evidence,” he said.