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Millions of shillings lost to ghost health workers

02 December 2013, 14:30 Mwangi Karanja

Kitale - Trans Nzoia County government has been paying salaries to over 70 ghost health workers since the health docket was devolved.

Speaking Sunday at Kitale hospital when he toured the facility, the County governor, Patrick Khaemba disclosed that the County government has lost millions of shillings through the scam.

He said an audit should be conducted to reveal identities of persons in the County payroll who are not providing any services to the residents.

“We don’t know if health workers in our list were transferred, or are just part of the scam by some officials to quench their selfish interests. We will not continue paying for services that we are not receiving,” he said.

Khaemba said that his government has set aside KES 500 million for the Ministry of Health for salaries, operation costs and maintenance, urging politicians to stop spreading rumours that the County has allocated only KES 28 million to the sector.

He further revealed that the County is planning to procure five mortuary cooling units at a cost of KES 9 million.

The hospital is currently relying on metallic containers to offer mortuary services and it has no emergency unit, a situation that is threatening the lives of accident victims.

“We have suffered a lot but we have decided to improve it now to the standard of a level five hospital," he said.

He called upon the County government to work with the national government so as to realise fully the power of devolution and stop hitting at the President.

“County governments will not succeed without the national government; only cooperation will help us win the fight against poverty and unemployment in the country,” said Khaemba.

The Kitale Hospital serves thousands of residents from Trans Nzoia, west Pokot, Turkana counties and Uganda.

The Hospital administrator, Anthony Kwalia said that the hospital facilities and manpower have been overwhelmed by the high number of patients as it receives more than 700 patients a day, which is more than 100 percent of its capacity.

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