By Derrick Kiplagat
County chiefs have finally succumbed to pressure from the National Government and have agreed to sign the medical equipment leasing deal worth Sh. 38 billion, which is set to help all Kenyans to have better service in the public hospitals. The governors however maintain that they will continue to negotiate with the national government to understand the deal better despite signing it.
The government is set to lease the medical equipment to 98 public hospitals across all the counties. The Governors through the new Council Chair and Meru Governor Peter Munya have said they would sign a memorandum of understanding on the use of the medical equipment across the level five hospitals. He said he and his colleagues had agreed to offer the government what he termed as “an olive branch”.
Munya added that the Governors wanted to avoid being blamed for being the barrier in the national government’s bid to provide better quality healthcare services to Kenyans. He blamed the government for spreading propaganda that the governors were not mindful of the health of their electorates. “We are willing to sign and we will sign. I will personally sign the deal. We need to move the deal to the next level and move away from the issue of not signing,” said Munya in a press briefing.
Munya added that the decision to accept the deal was merely “a sign of goodwill and for the good of the general public” and rubbished claims that the governors were forced to sign the deal. By May 28th 35 governors alongside the health Cs James Macharia had signed the deal awaiting the rest.
The Council chair also said that the governors were to enter negotiations with the Health Ministry on Saturday to better comprehend the contents of the contract that the government has signed with manufacturers. He maintained that the way the scheme was structured was legally wrong. “The law says conditional grants is money from the government which is given to counties to use under certain conditions, but this money is being used to hire machine,” he said
Governors had previously remained adamant on signing the MoU complaining that the government had not disclosed enough on the deal entered with the supplier and that they were not fully consulted. Last year, during the launch of the medical equipment leasing deal by President Uhuru Kenyatta many governors skipped the event in protest.