Phase one of the Sh6 billion Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital will begin operations beginning June, governor Wycliffe Oparanya said on Wednesday.
The 500 bed capacity, first referral hospital in western region will specialise in treatment of terminal illnesses like cancer, kidney and diabetes at a ‘cost effective fee’.
Mr Oparanya said the county is looking for Sh2 billion to buy equipment.
Phase one, which is built on a 10- acre piece of land cost Sh1billion.
It will include the outpatient department, gynecology, radiology, obstetrics, radiotherapy, trauma/accident and emergency, cancer and renal units.
Already the county government has signed an MOU with Masinde Muliro University to begin training doctors and nurses at the hospital by September 2018.
The training of medical personnel, it is expected, will attract experts from all over the world and help ease the biting staff shortage across all cadres.
With a population of about 2 million people, the county has only 1,300 nurses far below the required 3,000.
“The construction of a medical college has been informed by the demand for medical training and inadequate health workers. So far we have a shortage of 1700 nurses. Sometimes we try to recruit but we don’t get the required numbers,” he said
Mr Oparanya said they have agreed with the government of India to periodically send their doctors to offer specialized treatment.
He said his administration is committed to improving access to quality health care adding that the new hospital will offer the highest standards of medical training and quality healthcare services.
On average, the county general hospital has been referring two to three cases daily to other referral outside the region for specialized care.
The county government has also set aside Sh 200 million to construct three medical colleges in the region.
The joint venture between the county and Kenya Medical Training College is aimed at also training more health care workers to meet the growing demand and improve health care provisions.