Restructure Kemsa to end its monopoly, Raila urges

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the press after attending service at the ACK Mombasa Memorial Cathedral Church on Sunday. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for restructuring of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

This, Raila says, would save the country from what he termed as “misadventure” of the purchase of the Managed Equipment Service (MES).

Raila, in his latest comments on how to improve healthcare system and human resource, said Kemsa should be going for equipment leasing instead of purchase.

“Restructuring Kemsa would save the country from misadventures like the purchase of MES witnessed a few years ago, which was a result of the monopolistic nature of Kemsa that leads to wastage and inefficiencies,” he said. 

In a statement yesterday, Raila explained that the lease agreement would have provisions for the supplier to upgrade the equipment in line with technological changes. 

Raila, in proposing to make human resources for health efficient, said there is need to establish the National Board of Human Resources to determine funding of high-level training and postgraduate work.

He said the recent unfortunate saga regarding Kemsa’s mismanagement of purchase of commodities in the public health sector, including the inconclusive issue of the Covid billionaires, must draw the country’s attention to the wider need to clean up the governance and management of the State agency.

Competitive prices

Raila suggested that Kemsa should regain its efficiency by competing in the open market and providing pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical commodities to national and county government facilities at competitive market prices.

He said being the largest consumers of Kemsa commodities, counties need representation on the Kemsa Board commensurate with their consumptive weight and deserved interest in shaping policies and performance of the authority.

He further suggested that there is need for establishment of local institutions that can facilitate such training as need arises.

“Kenya is highly in need of an Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology given the current debate on the need to research into, understand and deal with such viruses through vaccines (prevention) and drugs that can cure the resultant diseases,” said Raila.

While commending Community Health Workers and specialists hospitals for the good work they have done during this Covid-19 pandemic, Raila said Covid has revealed stark realities in shortages of human resource needs in the health sector.

According to the Raila model, there is need to continue training more cadres  and specialists and establishment of institutions like referral facilities.

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