Busia County Assembly Gives Nod To Health Facilities To Spend Funds At Source

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Story/Reuben Olita

Busia County Assembly has given a greenlight to health facilities across the county to start using funds at source, thus cushioning them against emergencies.

The adoption of the report of the Committee of Health and Sanitation on the Public Participation of the Busia County Health Services Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was a culmination of a long journey that started before the advent of devolution when cost sharing initiatives in health institutions came tumbling.

The debate after the second reading on Tuesday afternoon was unanimous with members who made their contributions giving it a thumbs up, noting that it will enable Busia County Referral, and Sub County Hospitals, Health Centres and Dispensaries to manage the health facilities with professionalism.

Health Committee chairman, Hon Vincent Ojiambo said Health and Sanitaton Department needs at least Sh6.7billion to effectively run the docket, adding that the passage of the bill will open doors to Non Governmental Organizations to offer the necessary support.

Hon Linus Asiba (Matayos South Ward) said the passage of the bill is reminiscent to former Finance Minister , Mwai Kibaki’s tenure when he introduced cost sharing in hospitals which improved service delivery in health institutions instead of allowing the funds to be held at the National Treasury.

Hon Patrick Obongoya (nominated) said it’s a relief to health facilities which will now not face shortage of essential commodities since funds will be readily available, thus will improve service delivery.

Leader of Majority, Hon Kassaman Ekesa said the Act after being assented by the Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong will increase the number of patients to use their National Hospital Insurance Fund.

Hon Ojiambo said the main objective of the amended bill is to plough back funds into the department to address emergency and urgent matters arising in the health facilities.

Other objectives are to establish the Busia County Health Facilities Improvement Fund and provide for a mechanism to oversee the mangement and administration of the Fund.

He revealed that 70 per cent of the monies collected will be shared among the county higher level health facilities which collect in the ratio of facility improvement fees generated by it while 27% shall be shared among the lower level health facilities which do not collect FIF, and 3% shall be utilized as administration costs.

After the third reading before the committee of the whole house on Wednesday morning, Speaker Bernard Wamalwa said the bill be forwarded to the Governor H.E Sospeter Ojaamong to assent it into law.

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