Written by Valerie Bunyasi
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Finance Minister Njeru Githae
As the Minister of Finance prepares to read the Budget for 2012/2013 financial year most of the public civil servants have great expectation that this year the budget will be favourable to them.
The government plans to spend Sh 1.4 trillion which is higher than the amount they spend last year thus one hopes that the minister has done enough consultation with the key stake holders to help in improving the economy of the country and improve the day to day livelihood of the common mwananchi.
Speaking to the press the Bungoma District Hospital Administrator Mr. Caleb Khasiani revealed his expectation citing that the previous budget did not do much to facilitate the smooth running of the hospital. Mr. Khasiani said that Bungoma District Hospital and the Webuye Hospital are the two facilities with the most qualified personnel therefore; they should be more equipped to handle referral cases from other small hospital in the county.
“Although Bungoma and Webuye district hospitals are the most reliable facilities in the county to handle serious cases from other hospitals and dispensaries in the region they receive the same amount of funds thus making it difficult for the hospitals to operate smoothly” he said.
He urged the Minister not to allow politics into play, but follow the new Constitution to the later by equating resources as stipulated according to the population and the region citing that Kenyans voted in the new constitution hoping that it would bring change adding that they should consider the most crucial ministries like agriculture.
He argued that a lot of challenges being faced by health department are because it has been under budgeted yet the population in the region has grown tremendously leading to putting up of new hospitals thus reducing the amount being distributed hence straining the available facilities.
“We are facing a lot of challenges like lack of enough drugs and equipments and being under staffed yet the money we receive is not enough as more hospital are being put up to service the increasing population in the region” he added.
Mr. Khasiani revealed that the hospital receives 1.2 million shillings for every three months which is not enough therefore it has to rely on the money collected from the patients. He also urged the government to employ more nurses, lab technicians, clerical officers and clinical officers to help improve the services provided by the facility.
“We need over 70 nurses, 10 lab technicians, 10 clerical officers, 10 clinical officers, an ENT specialist and a pathologist as the hospital currently shares with the one from the Kakamega hospital and the 1.2 million shillings we receive every three months is not enough to run the hospital,” he said.
He acknowledged that the government has spent Sh 16 million on the construction of the new mortuary which will soon be operational but urged the government to increase the salaries and allowances of the civil servants to help reduce the number of cases where Kenyans live the county in search of greener pastures.
Mr. Khasiani also added that the government should handle matters concerning salaries and welfare of the civil servant in advance to avoid recurrent strikes in the whole government sectors in the country.
The Bungoma County Director Mr. Juma Mwatengar said that as a new office they expect the government to support them unconditionally adding that he was hopeful that the budget for 2012/2013 fiscal year has slotted in some funds for the counties that would enable them to run the program.
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