Universal Health Coverage faces headwinds in Nyeri after it emerged that drugs worth Sh15 million had expired in 31 health facilities in the county.
The Public Accounts Committee said non-pharmaceutical items like gloves, syringes and masks worth Sh771, 143 also expired .
According to the committee’s report tabled in the county assembly for adoption, more than required drugs were bought.
“It was not explained why the drugs were procured beyond the required levels leading to expirations and loss of public funds,” read the report.
The committee conducted its physical inspection in December last year.
This comes at a time when patients are being forced to buy drugs outside the hospital.
Nyeri County is among the UHC piloting counties for its prevalence of lifestyle diseases alongside Kisumu, Isiolo and Machakos counties.
Patients with chronic ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer are forced to buy drugs from outside the hospitals.
In most cases, patients have complained of a shortage of drugs and reagents.
But the health department told PAC that the list provided for expired drugs was for several years before the devolved unit.
It said the system used in the pre-devolution years was a push method where drugs were “pushed” from the ministry of Health headquarters without considering the absorption rates.
After devolution, the county health department said they has been using the pull system where every facility orders are based on need.