Please pay your pending bills, KEMSA appeals to County Governments

Please pay your pending bills, KEMSA appeals to County Governments

  • According to KEMSA Chairperson Mary Mwadime, clearing the dues will accelerate reforms at the authority and keep the business afloat.
  • Mwadime also reiterated that KEMSA had neither made any roles redundant nor had it handed over its management to external agencies since it was observing a court order.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board has asked county governments to give precedence to the clearing of approximately Ksh.3.9 billion arrears owed to it.

According to KEMSA Chairperson Mary Mwadime, clearing the dues will accelerate reforms at the authority and keep the business afloat.

Mwadime also revealed that KEMSA leadership would take on the restructuring in adherence to due process and labour laws as the board is dedicated to addressing challenges facing the Authority.

During the latest round of engagements on Monday, the KEMSA Board and the Authority's Acting Chief Executive Officer Edward Njoroge updated the Senate Committee on Health members led by Senator Michael Mbito.

The KEMSA Board also held a roundtable meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI), Kenya Dental Association and the Kenya Health Care Federation (KHF).

During the meetings, Mwadime reiterated that KEMSA had neither made any roles redundant nor had it handed over its management to external agencies since it was observing a court order.

"We have assured our stakeholders that our operations are proceeding on as usual and the Board and Core Management remain firmly in place,” Mwadime said.

“A dysfunctional KEMSA slows down healthcare delivery goals and is a liability to the envisaged positive national healthcare outcomes and the Board is committed to facilitating reforms to set the Authority on a recovery path. This will include structured engagements with several county governments to settle their outstanding bills amounting to more than Ksh.6 billion.”

Speaking after the KEMSA engagement, KMPDU Secretary-General Dr. Davji Bhimji was optimistic that the medical authority will take on the envisioned reforms as mandated by the law.

"We have been given detailed information on the reforms and have been assured that the role of professional stakeholders in the healthcare value chain will be mainstreamed in the reform agenda. We are ready to engage with KEMSA to ensure efficient supply of drugs and other items from KEMSA stores to health facilities," Dr. Bhimji said.

The reforms at the Authority are part of the far-reaching recommendations outlined in several KEMSA restructuring reports, including the latest KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) report. Commissioned by the board, the KIAPRWC report revealed challenges in critical functions.

According to the report, KEMSA is grossly underperforming and having problems when supplying products to medical facilities.

The Authority is also suffering from below-par productivity, with the order fill rate standing at 18 per cent against a target performance of over 90 per cent. KEMSA's order turn-around time is an average of 46 days.

KEMSA is also suffering from a developing debtor and creditor crisis and is currently owed Ksh. 6.4 Billion by its clients, who are primarily county governments. The Authority owes its creditors Ksh. 4.5 Billion and is operating at 170 percent above its approved staff establishment of three hundred and forty-one (341) with an estimated staff complement of 922.

Mwadime consequently reiterated that the KEMSA Board is committed to facilitating the necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed.