‘We are in full control’ says the board
Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) board has assured that its firmly in control in the wake of extensive reforms that may lead to massive job losses.
The board Chairperson Mary Mwadime disclosed currently, KEMSA, is grossly underperforming and is largely unable to meet clients’ urgent needs, particularly the delivery of essential Medicines and Products to the Counties, Referral Hospitals and Programs.
“We are comfortable to hear that the Board is in full control. The whole issue about the Military and NYS that has been flying around we have been assured is misguided,” Chege said. “As a committee, we have asked the Board to take care of the employees and ensure that due process is followed, even as the restructuring gets underway.” She said.
The scandal-hit parastatal last Thursday ordered all its non-core staff to work from home over the next 30 days pending a review of their positions.
Mwadime confirmed that the necessary interventions had been put in place to avoid undue disruptions to service delivery and day to day operations.
She assured that the release of all staff to work from home is a procedural formality to facilitate the review of the organizational structure and will be undertaken expeditiously to ensure that the staff complement is fit for purpose and within the approved staff establishment levels.
A planned meeting by the Senate Committee has been pushed to Monday next week. The Senators who are questioning the motive behind sending the workers home in the name of restructuring were to meet the board and Ministry of Health officials Wednesday morning.
Mwadime said during a meeting with the National Assembly’s Health Committee that a recent Taskforce report by the KEMSA Immediate Action Plan and Medium Term Reforms Working Committee (KIAPRWC) had revealed challenges in critical functions that deserve to be expeditiously addressed.
Specifically, the Authority she said is suffering from below-par productivity, with the order fill rate standing at 18% against a target performance of over 90%. KEMSA’s order turn-around time is an average of 46 days.
In June 2021, out of 11,000 orders received at KEMSA, only 345 orders were serviced at the Authority, which is suffering from a developing debtor and creditor crisis. Currently, KEMSA is owed Ksh. 6.4Billion and owes its creditors Ksh. 4.5 Billion.
The Authority says it is operating at170% above its approved staff establishment of three hundred and forty-one (341) with an estimated staff complement of 922.
The Board, she said, is committed to facilitating the necessary reforms to ensure that KEMSA challenges are sufficiently addressed.
The parliamentary committee announced that it is satisfied with the reforms.
Flanked by Ministry of Health PrincipalSecretary Ms Susan Mochache and members of the Committee, Ms Chege discounted reports that the Military and related security agencies had taken over KEMSA.
The agency is at the moment steeped in litigation after the government made attempts to effect some changes in management.
However, the Employment and Labour Relations Court temporarily suspended the takeover by Kenya Defence Forces and National Youth Service until a case filed by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union is heard and determined.
The court also stopped KEMSA from sacking employees pending determination of the matter in court.