Kenyatta University Referral Hospital will not be turned into a parastatal. Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina said it had only been proposed that the hospital be run as a subsidiary of the university complete with own board of directors, which can be effected under Section Three of the State Corporations Act.
“Kenyatta University is totally opposed to the hospital being turned into a State corporation which does not fit with the original concept as a teaching facility for medical-related programmes,” said Prof Wainaina.
“The hospital would be a Level Six tertiary hospital within the meaning of Section 25(1) as read together with the first schedule of the Health Act, 2017,” he added.
The VC said the university management has held several meetings with the offices of the Cabinet secretaries for Health, Education and Treasury on the proposal to turn the university hospital into a State corporation.
“The discussions have not been concluded. We have, however, made our position on the future of the facility loud and clear and the position of the KU council and Senate has not changed,” he said.
Wainaina said they remain committed to the original ideal that the hospital be owned and managed by the university as a teaching, training and research facility providing high-level medical services to the public within and outside Kenya.
He was reacting to reports that Health CS Sicily Kariuki had chaired a meeting on Tuesday during which the proposal was made.
He said the hospital is expected to serve as a teaching facility for KU students, specialising in human medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and other related health specialties. It would allow KU to offer tailor-made health teaching programmes that cannot be offered in a referral hospital run under the Ministry of Health.
Kenyatta University Hospital (KUH) was conceived as a Vision 2030 flagship project and the ground was broken by retired President Kibaki on October 7, 2011 when construction work began.
The original concept was to set up a university teaching, training and research hospital, the first of its type in the region. KUH is a modern state-of- the-art 600 bed facility with special medical amenities, including a 21-bed ICU and eight operating theaters, an emergency room, dialysis unit and the latest in imaging equipment.
When operationalised, it will have the only Molecular Imaging Centre (MIC) in the region, outside of Egypt and South Africa with equipment that can detect and treat cancer at an early stage.
The Parliamentary Committee on Health visited and inspected the hospital in August and recommended that Treasury allocates KU Sh6 billion to trigger the release of undisbursed loan owed to the Chinese government.
This would allow for personnel and capacity building and the operationalisation of the hospital. It was proposed that this be done through the supplementary budget for ratification by the National Assembly.
Chairperson of the committee Sabina Chege also opposed the plans.