19 arrested as Mutua shuts down 11 health facilities in Machakos
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Monday shut down 11 health facilities that were illegally operating outside the Machakos Level 5 Hospital.
According to Governor Mutua, the facilities including clinics, pharmacies and laboratories, were being used as conduits to steal drugs and other medical equipment from the county hospital as well as exploit members of the public.
Speaking during the crackdown that saw 19 operators of the businesses arrested, Mutua said patients who seek medical services at the county referral hospital were being redirected to the nearby facilities to buy drugs.
“Some of my health workers are still conniving with private facilities and sabotaging Universal Health Care by sending innocent patients to private labs, pharmacies and clinics instead of providing them free and quality health care in Government health facilities,” said the governor.
“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… We have arrested those working in the premises so that we can flush out their masters of impunity.”
Earlier, the governor had given operators of private laboratories, pharmacies and clinics set up outside public health facilities a notice to vacate, adding that their operating licenses had been immediately revoked.
“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,” said Mutua.
The county government is expected to issue guidelines stipulating the distance within which private health facilities should operate near government hospitals.