Machakos governor Dr Alfred Mutua today led an operation in Machakos Town where the county health department closed over 10 clinics near the Machakos County Referral Hospital.
The governor said that the clinics were conniving with public health officers from the government facility to steal medicine meant for the hospital, and had defied an order by the county to close and relocate.
“While commissioning a new theatre at Matuu Level 4 hospital, I directed that as per the law and regulations, there should not be a private clinic, lab, pharmacy and such health providers within 300 meters of a Machakos Government health facility. I gave them up to May 31st, 2019 to relocate,” said the governor.
However, according the governor, rogue county health workers connived with the owners, sending patients to private labs, pharmacies and clinics instead of providing them free and quality health care in government health facilities.
“We have enough drugs, reagents and x-ray equipment and it is the hallmark of impunity and corruption for health workers and their collaborators to deny Wananchi free health services that are already funded,” he added.
Several staffers working in the private facilities have been arrested, as the county looks for the owners who are said to have gone into hiding.
“My Government has also from today revoked the business permits of all clinics, pharmacies, laboratories and such providers who are located close to any government health facility, based on the size of a town. My minister of health will issue guidelines on the set distances per village size and town,” he said.
The tussle between the Machakos County Government and owners of the facilities started on February 7, 2019, when Mutua raided clinics located outside the gate of Machakos Level 5 Hospital.
Drugs and other commodities that had been stolen from government’s hospital were recovered.