Health sector needs diagnosis

Editorial

PREVENTION will always be better than cure, as the saying goes.
Time after time we see fellow citizens fall to preventable illness or medical procedures and process.
Fingers most times point to the hospitals ill-equipped state and at times extending the blame to the claim of paying first before receiving treatment policy by some of our privately owned and run hospitals.
Time and time we argue and debate, that we have all the money in the world to make available world class hospitals, yet why can’t we have the best hospital care system?
Our basic health indicators are an embarrassment in a country that exports vast quantities of gold, oil, natural gas, other minerals and metals, tropical logs and tuna every year.
When we do try to upgrade our facilities, we are faced with roadblocks such as uncompleted projects, budget overruns and the lot that derails the project completion.
We need to look at streamlining the head of all major referral hospitals administration, the hospital boards.
The government should consider disbanding all these unnecessary red tape of management and align the executive head office (CEO) of the hospitals to one regulatory hospital board, which will be as a start, be overseen by the Health department and the ministry.
Eventually, building up capacity and move it out to be an independent authority on all national referral hospitals.
Once that is achieved, this authority board can start looking at the appropriate road mapping to building capacity into our national referral hospitals to have the ability and capacity in delivering quality health care.
They will hand manage end to end and ensure our medical doctors and nurses have the best and latest medical equipment that are covered with back to back technical support and warranty from the equipment suppliers.
From CT scans, ultrasound machines, MRI scans to digital x-ray systems and the lot.
They will ensure we have the best and well trained and regularly updated technically skilled biomedical engineers, managers and technicians to ensure all these medical equipment are always up and running for our doctors and nurses use to save and prevent loss of lives, through early detection and prevention of the root cause of illness or medical disorder.
They will ensure that we can fund visiting experienced overseas medical specialist and at the same time utilising them on either long or short term contracts to build skills capacity and have skills transferred.
That the skilled local medical doctors, specialist, nurses and technical resource we build are well looked after and retained for a least 5-10 years with binding employment contracts.
With all of these the government must be prepared on providing huge CAPEX budgets annually to continue funding and building capacity for our current primary health care system and in parallel be prepared, commit and remained committed to fund a least an additional K500-K800 million per year to maintain and sustain such as quality health care system.
Nothing is impossible. It can be done. The state of public health matters to us all.

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