Busia Residents Endorse Creation Of Facility Improvement Fees

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Stakeholders drawn from various sectors in Busia  today endorsed the Facility Improvement Fees (FIF) that they said will help address financial challenges facing health institutions in the County.

The stakeholders who had converged at the  Agricultural Training Centre for public participation on the Busia County Health Services Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021 said the creation of FIF will enable health institutions utilize funds they collect from their facilities.

Explaining on the legalities that  hospitals can access the funds, Assistant Director Legal Services in the County Assembly of Busia, Maureen Ogombe said the funds can be accessed through Special Purpose Account (SPA) to be opened at the Central Bank  of Kenya.

“Monies collected by hospitals are deposited  in the Collection Account. To ensure checks and balances, the funds are tranferred to County Revenue Fund which will then transfer it to SPA, after every fortnight,” she said.

Ms Ogombe who took stakeholders through the bill said 70 per cent of FIF will go to hospitals with 30% to go to the CRF, adding  that 3% of the fund will be used as administration fees deducted from user fees, reimbursement in respect of materity and other services, and gifts, donations, grants, among others.

It includes monies appropriated to the Fund by the County Assembly for operation of the facilities, funds received as reimbursement from National Hospital Insurance Fund, and funds received as capitation prepayments from NHIF  and other medical insurance schemes.

Chairman Health and Sanitation Committee chairman, Hon Vincent Ojiambo said public participation is key in the enactment of the law, noting that it’s going to improve health services in the county.

“After another PP tomorrow on Busia County Community Health Services Bill, 2021, the committee will retreat to compile a report to be tabled at the shortest time possible, pledging to lobby his colleagues to pass the two bills,” he said.

Deputy Leader of Majority, Hon Moses Ochieng said  it’s unfortunate the Public Finance Management Act blocked County Governments from using FIF, adding that SPA is the solution to health facilities in the county.

County Director Public Health, Dr Melsa Lutomia said the journey to enable hospitals spend the money they raise started in 1996 when the National Government created the FIF Act; health facilities were able to buy food, pay casuals before it was suspended on the onset of devolution.

Busia County Referral Hospital  Medical Superitendent,  Dr Namudala Emukule regretted that most health facilities undergo challenges especially supplies, calling for quicker enactment of this law. He singled out last month when BCRH collected Sh6 million.

The  bill seeks to amend the Busia County Health Services Fund Act of 2015 including the object and purpose of the Act, establishment and objects of the fund, application and use of the fund, creation of position of Fund Administrator and winding up and dissolution of the Fund.

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