Wait for ruling on Sh4.5bn leased medical tools: MPs

Health PS Peter Tum (left) and Public Health
Health PS Peter Tum (left) and Public Health director Kepha Ombacho when they appeared before parliamentary committees July 3. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE   

Parliament will make a final determination on the propriety of expenditure of Sh4.5 billion on managed equipment service (MES) by the Ministry of Health, its watchdog committee has said.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it will write a report on the procurement of the medical equipment for delivery to 98 county facilities after Health principal secretary Peter Tum stood by his earlier submissions made on June 18.

“What I gave on June 18, 2018 is true and accurate report. It is now up to this committee to make your own determination,” Mr Tum said when he appeared before PAC yesterday to respond to queries raised by Auditor General Edward Ouko for 2015/16 accounts.

He told MPs the Ministry submitted documentation that it sought for the committee scrutiny. “We shall retreat and make our own determination in the fullness of time,” Opiyo Wandayi, who chairs PAC, said.

Mr Ouko has questioned the expenditure of Sh4.56 billion on leased medical equipment after the ministry failed to provide procurement, contract, progress report documents and the Attorney General’s opinion on the contract.

for audit review.

In his earlier response, Mr Tum said the Attorney General provided clearance for MES contracts as well as the government letters of support on July 10, 2015.

He said as at June 30, 2018, 94 out of 98 hospitals had theatre equipment fitted while 96 had theatre CSSD equipment.

All 49 facilities which were to be supplied with renal equipment, 11 with ICU equipment and 98 with radiology equipment have the equipment supplied.

He said the expenditure of Sh4, 568,544,208 was for payments for MES contracts whose procurement process was as per the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2005 and Public Procurement and Asset Disposal regulations, 2006.

He said MES procurement was initiated on June 6, 2014 when the Ministry issued an international competitive tender for the supply, installation and testing and replacement of medical equipment and associated training for county and sub-county referral hospitals.

The tender was awarded on November 21, 2014 to five companies to provide medical equipment to 98 hospitals under five lots.

The companies-Shenzen Mindray Bio-Medical Electricals, Esteem Industries, Belco S.R.L, Philips Medical Systems Nederland B.V and GE East Africa Services- were to supply theatre equipment, theatre CSSD equipment, renal equipment, ICU equipment and radiology equipment respectively.

Mr Tum said between the months of December 2014 and January 2015, due diligence was conducted to all winning bidder’s covering countries where manufacturing of equipment to be supplied was to be done and countries where equipment had been installed.

“The total contracts value for MES is $432,482,160. The payments for this amount is spread over a period of seven years and is paid on quarterly bases-28 quarters,” Mr Tum said.

He said the contracts for all the lots and the Attorney General opinion on the same has been provided to auditors.

“The commercial contracts for Lots 1,2, 5, 6 and 7 were signed on February 5, 2015. Before the commercial contracts were signed, the Attorney General provided approval for the draft contracts on February 5,” Mr Tum told MPs.