The lack of enough facilities and human resources at Busia County referral hospital is among the reasons that hinder the best services at the facility despite being elevated and gazetted from level four to level five.
According to the medical superintendent at Busia county referral hospital Dr. Namudala Emukule in terms of gazettement, the facility is rated as level five, but in service delivery; the facility is a level four, adding that lack of enough human resources is contributing to the lack of proper services at the hospital.
“In terms is gazettement, we are a level five facility, but functionality we are still at level four and that is why I am saying they are certain things that we need to address, including human resources and infrastructures so that we fit at level five facility,” he noted
Busia County Committee member in charge of the Department of Health, Ms Beatrice Nakholi noted that cases of sickle cell anaemia and epilepsy are on the rise in Busia County.
According to her, there is not a single week that passes by without someone making an inquiry if there is an epileptic centre in the county.
“Quality of health care is now very wanting in the county. The diseases that are coming up now, we have sickle cell and epilepsy.
The other day I was with a team from Epileptic Kenya and they told me that every day they receive a call from Busia asking them if they have an epileptic centre and how they can be helped and that is something that we should be all worried about,” she noted.
Busia governor Dr Paul Otuoma, in his speech during the opening of the new Male surgical ward at the referral hospital, questioned the manner in which Busia County referral hospital was elevated from level four to level five facility despite having not met certain requirements.
“Classification alone does not make a facility work. I get baffled by those who allow this kind of classification to go on.
Classification means you have fulfilled the requirements for you to be admitted at the level you want to be admitted to.
When you tell people you are at level five and you are not, you make people seek services at the facility that you don’t have. That is like cheating,” said Dr Otuoma.
According to him, classifying the facility as level five gives a wrong perception that the facility is well equipped yet it is not.
“If it means we de-classify this hospital so that we aspire to be where we want to be and give ourselves a timeline, we may have to do that to be. It is not right, and it is poor planning. It gives a wrong perception. It makes us put resources where we are not supposed to put them.
If today you went to anybody and you said Busia County referral hospital is level five, automatically they will assume that you have certain facilities and you are still at level four, how will it work?” he paused
He, however, announced the acquisition of land to move the current Busia Polytechnic so that the land where the polytechnic is will expand the BCRH.
“We have already said and planned that we are gaining land next here at the polytechnic around 6 acres because we are moving the polytechnic to give this facility enough space to construct an additional block to house sickle cell, psychiatric and theatre facilities,” he noted
The new Male surgical ward has a bed capacity of 100 beds and was constructed by the county government of Busia in collaboration with the Council of Governors (CoG) and the National government at a cost of sh100M, which will reduce the pressure that has been facing the facility when admitting patients by 30 per cent from 200-bed capacity to 300.