Task force calls for closure of under-utilized health facilities

A task force appointed to look into the state of the health care sector in Nakuru County has recommended the closure of two government health facilities, saying they were under-utilised.

The Civil Servants Clinic situated within the Regional Co-ordinator’s office complex and GOK Farm Dispensary in Gilgil have been earmarked for closure.

The task force, led by former Egerton University Vice Chancellor Professor James Tuitoek recommended that officers deployed to the two clinics would be better utilised in other health facilities which are busier.

The civil servants clinic was officially opened in April 2007 under the Rapid Results Initiative that had been established by the Office of the president.

It was intended to serve public servants within the then Provincial headquarters with the intention of ensuring that the civil servants did not spend a lot of time seeking treatment at the Provincial General Hospital.

The task force however found out that the improvements made to the NHIF scheme that roped in all civil servants, majority of them were now seeking services at the Civil servants clinic located at the Nakuru level 5 Hospital, which is more vibrant.

The task force similarly recommended that the GOK Farm dispensary be closed after establishing that although it was sandwiched between 4 training colleges and an informal settlement, it was not being used as it is inaccessible.

The dispensary is housed in an office block that had been donated by KARI and is served by two nurses who are rarely engaged.

The team also identified a number of health facilities that were lying idle, either because of lack of staff to man them, or they lacked basic equipment. Among such facilities, the team identified Set Kobor, Kayole and Barut dispensaries.

In a 93 page document that was handed over to the Nakuru County government after the completion of the exercise, the team came face to face with the reality that although many of the facilities are public, most of them have no ownership documents with a good number of them having their land encroached.

The team observed that many of the health facilities were not fenced off and it was therefore difficult to ascertain where the exact boundaries are.

In one instance, the task force noted that the ownership documents for the Nakuru Annex hospital were in private hands and the team could not ascertain how the land for Annex and the War Memorial hospital had been demarcated, yet the two institutions were one and the same.

The task force also established that facilities that included Barut, Eburru, Lalwet, Simboiyon, Bondeni and Njoro Sub County hospital had no land ownership documents, while encroachment was noted for Bahati District hospital, Nakuru West Dispensary and Nessuit.

The report is expected to be discussed by the Nakuru County Assembly, which will adopt it and give directions on the way forward.

Source: Kenya News Agency