FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
COUNTY ASSEMBLY OF EMBU
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE 3RD DECEMBER 2019
EMBU MCAs DISMAYED BY KSH 50,000 REFERRAL HOSPITAL METAL BEDS
Members of the County Assembly of Embu’s Health Committee have expressed shock over the purchase of 50 hospital beds fabricated from metal bars and wire mesh at a cost of Ksh 50,000 each.
The Ward Reps led by Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo who chairs the Health Committee, while on a fact-finding tour of the Embu Level Five hospital visited the newly constructed Badea Wards where they inspected the Ksh 2.5M steel-frame beds. They expressed concern over the pricing, terming it as overinflated. The MCAs learnt that the hospital would purchase 70 more beds at an extra Ksh 3.5M.
Mwea MCA Harrison Mwaluko; a member of the Health Committee disputed the price for the beds, revealing that he had bought similar beds, complete with mattresses and mackintosh covers at Ksh 7,000 each. Deputy Speaker Steve Simba added that Kyeni Mission Hospital had imported ultramodern rustproof beds at Ksh 30,000.
The Health Committee Chairman wondered how a hospital without basic drugs and nonpharmaceutical supplies could afford to procure beds worth Ksh 50,000, saying it was painful to see such reckless plunder of public resources. Mwaluko who is also the Budget and Appropriation Committee Chairman said Embu Residents needed to know how public funds allocated to the hospital are spent.
The hospitals medical engineer Paschal Njoka had a hard time explaining to the furious MCAs that the beds were expected to be laden with up to two patients at times, therefore justifying their fabrication out of steel bars. The leaders could however take none of it, insisting that the procurement was fraudulent and riddled with graft.
Simba termed the revelation of the pricing for the beds as embarrassing, further observing that the materials used to fabricate the beds were similar to what is used by welders at local Jua Kali sheds to make beds for high school dormitories. He said the Assembly would launch an inquest into the scam, which he predicted could have led to loss of millions of taxpayers’ funds.
The MCAs who were accompanied by the hospital’s CEO Dr Daniel Mugendi inspected the ongoing construction of an oxygen plant meant to supply the gas to all hospitals within the region. The leaders also visited the renovated staff quarters that houses senior hospital personnel to establish whether the County Government got value for money in the project.
Muturi warned his colleague MCAs that it would be irresponsible of them to tolerate the misuse of public funds witnessed in the health facility. The committee is now probing the matter and will draft a report for tabling and deliberation in the House.