Nairobi county seeks alternative supplier as drug shortage bites

Governor Sonko during a past impromptu visit at Pumwani hospital.The governor has directed the county to procure drugs from other suppliers PHOTO TWITTER
 The Nairobi City County Government will now seek alternative sources of hospital drug supplies.

 This is following a shortage of drugs in county hospitals following a constant row with KEMSA over pending bills owed to the agency from the previous regime.

Earlier in the week, health executive Mohamed Dagane told journalists that the county owes the agency sh 309 million and that agency had stopped supplying drugs to the county.

Speaking on Friday at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Sonko issued a directive to his Cabinet to procure drugs from other suppliers through emergency procurement to ensure all Nairobi County hospitals are fully equipped with medical supplies.

“We care for the welfare of Nairobians and we will not allow KEMSA to sabotage our service delivery to the people. From next week, I want this matter settled so that service delivery is not interrupted in our county hospitals,” said Sonko.

The Governor has said so far the Nairobi City County Government has fully honored it’s deal with KEMSA in settling its bills owed to the agency, but he has now asked the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti to probe the debt that his administration inherited from the previous regime.

“We have reports that drugs worth over Sh300m that KEMSA allegedly supplied to county hospitals during the previous regime were diverted to private hospitals,” he said.

Nairobi City County Assembly Health Committee Chairman Peter Warutere echoed Sonko’s sentiments saying the County Government should use other means to ensure all Nairobi County hospitals are fully supplied with drugs.

“I support the move to seek for an alternative source of drugs in Nairobi after KEMSA failed to honor its promise. Enough is enough and we cannot be dictated by an agency which sabotages the supply of drugs to our hospitals,” stated the Roysambu MCA.

Meanwhile, Sonko has cautioned suppliers with questionable pending bills that his administration will only pay genuine suppliers who were vetted and cleared by the Pending Bills Committee that was chaired by lawyer PLO Lumumba.

“I inherited a debt of Sh60 billion from the previous regime, but we have already identified suppliers who with questionable pending bills. I will not allow misuse of taxpayers’ money to clear debts which are not genuine,” added Sonko.