It is “extremely expensive” to run Coast Provincial General Hospital and Mombasa cannot manage it on its own, health executive nominee Hazel Koitaba has said.
Koitaba said other counties from the region must contribute so their only referral hospital is not crippled.
She complained that conditional grants from Ministry of Health are “peanuts” and that they are released late, hindering purchase of drugs and treatment.
Records from the Commission on Revenue Allocation show the county received Sh1.4 billion for the level 5 hospital up to financial year 2016/17.
More than Sh262 million had been disbursed for free maternal and health care.
But Koitaba noted only Mombasa incurs the high costs of operating facility despite serving all Coast residents.
“There is no compensation from neighbouring counties. We must lobby to find a solution,” she said during her vetting on Friday.
The former finance boss said Coast health executives under Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani should “pull a miracle”.
But this may be difficult as the economic bloc formed in 2015 is in shambles. Leadership, political and personal interest have overridden the people’s interests as some want self rule.The nominee said MoH “must be deeply engaged to increase grants” should the Jumuia option be infeasible.
The ballooning wage bill and strikes by health practitioners are also troubling Hassan Joho’s county. The county has borne the brunt of industrial action and Koitaba said performance contracts must be introduced.
“It is difficult to isolate workers from the union…the contract will avert the strikes,” the candidate said.
Koitaba further said the 1:18,000 doctor-patient ratio is “absurd”.
“Recruitment is necessary,” she said, but having more workers will result in additional costs.
The World Health Organization says that globally, the ratio is 13:10,000.
WHO’s Global Atlas of Health Workforce identifies Kenya as having a “critical shortage” of healthcare workers since independence.
The organisation has set a minimum threshold of 23 doctors, nurses and midwives per population of 10,000.
Kenya’s health sector has been heavily centralised since 1963, with power concentrated in Nairobi.