Oparanya mulls halting free maternity services in cash row

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has threatened to withdraw free maternity services if national government does not reimburse Sh40 million it owes the county.

Mr Oparanya said they will start charging patients if the Ministry of Health does not reimburse the money. He cautioned that the Jubilee government flagship project could collapse unless urgent action is taken.

The governor said they have been compelled to withdraw monies from their own resources to cater for the services.

“We are unable to continue providing the much needed service due to financial crisis. We demand that the ministry reimburse the money with immediate effect, failure to which we will be compelled to withdraw the service,” he said.

He attributed poor healthcare in the region to delay disbursement of funds from the Treasury.

“We are always blamed whenever something goes wrong in the healthcare, but it is not our making,” he said.

Speaking at Kakamega Boys High School, Mr Oparanya said they are excited at the success of the Mother and Child Survival Support Programme launched last year which has benefited more than 21,000 mothers and ensured safe delivery of babies.

Skilled deliveries

“We are happy that skilled deliveries have risen from 33 per cent to 69 per cent,” he said adding that 735 health workers have been recruited to improve healthcare in the region.

He said the works to upgrade Khwisero and Shianda health centres to Level 4 hospitals have started and will be undertaken in phases.

“We expect to commence installation of necessary medical equipment in these facilities in the next financial year,” he said.

The governor said the county administration has consistently procured and distributed drugs on quarterly basis to all public health facilities within the region.