By Loraine Anyango
Kisumu’s county, the health budget is far constrained. Things could be different
The department has a budget of 3.6 billion, and of this 2.9 billion goes towards Human Resources. The department their fore must rise to many challenges, especially facilities like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral (JOOTRH) lack resources to be able to offer the required quality services.
Core challenges at JOOTRH include sufficient staffing, for example, the facility urgently needs about 235 more nurses to increase the nurses’ ward allocation from 13 to at least 25 nurses on average to ensure reasonable nursing care for patients.
The shortage of human resources does not just apply to nurses, JOOTRH has only 9 medical officers, against the recommended 50 officers to adequately cover the campus. To appreciate the gravity of the matter the department urgently needs 30 more medical officers.
The facility only has 13 RCO anesthetists against the required minimum of 25 to adequately cover nine operating theaters in the hospital.
In a meeting between the Kisumus County Secretary (CS), Mr. John Ochieng Auma, Director of Medical Services Dr. Emma Obegi, and JOOTRH’s HMT, the facility appealed to revise its annual budget allocation to at least 300 million.
Huge facility debts are making it even more difficult to ensure a continuous and steady supply of commodities. “Appreciating these resource-driven straits will help to take a long-term perspective, “Deputy CEO JOOTRH Dr. Dedan Ngonga said while pointing to the fact that JOOTRH has not received any monies from the treasury yet it’s the third quarter of the year.
JOOTRH was allocated 180 million shillings, its annual budget is 700 million “Currently we have not been able to meet our monthly target of 30 million shillings due to inadequate and erratic supply supplies of drugs and Non-pharmaceuticals.
“While quality is a pillar in health care, it’s largely pegged on availability of resources.” Dr. Obegi said.
She appealed to the County Secretary to intervene so that resources are channeled to the department to enable all facilities to be able to deliver services. “We need more resources to be injected into health, as we have huge gaps in the delivery of services we offer.” She added.
Currently, the facility relies on the generated Facility Improvement Fund (FIF) which is also dependent on the availability of commodities.
In a bid to find solutions to the resource challenge, Mr. Ochieng reiterated his commitment to increasing the county revenue collections from 35 % to 47 %.
He called on prioritization and focusing on debts and issues that can be able to generate more income once settled.
He said that Kisumu County can generate up to 20 billion shillings annually and called on all and sundry to have a mind shift and be part of the agenda to raise more revenue.
“I have to choose between lowering the wage bill and raising more revenue, I choose the latter and need all of us to work with the same mind because it’s doable.” Mr. Ochieng emphasized.
He directed the formation of financial management committees and the preparation of annual cash flow and financial governance structure documents which are reviewed quarterly.
“The decision to pay or not to pay should not be left to one person, a committee should sit and decide, and we should prioritize to complete projects whose probability for plow back soon.