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KEMSA owed KES 2.1 billion by several county governments – CEO Ramadhani

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) is owed an average of KES 2.1 billion on overdue accounts by several counties CEO Terry Ramadhani has said.

Ramadhani says the lack of dedicated budget lines in the counties has resulted in delays in settlement for supplies delivered to various county governments.

Speaking when she made the Authority’s submission to the Nairobi City County Health Reforms Taskforce, Ramadhani called on county governments to consider ringfencing health budgets and integrating information technology solutions to facilitate operating efficiencies and prompt payments for health commodities supplied by the Authority.

She regretted that these delays had a negative impact on KEMSA’s ability to provide services and had reduced operational effectiveness. Ringfencing income generated by healthcare institutions will reduce the use of such money for development and other recurring expenses at the expense of supplier payments, according to information provided to task force members who visited KEMSA offices under the direction of Dr. Anastasia Nyalita.

“At KEMSA, we have adopted a collaborative approach to unlocking the settlement of these outstanding debts. We believe Counties can better manage their financial obligations by ringfencing health revenues generated by their health facilities to guarantee payments for service providers such as KEMSA,” Ramadhani proposed. She added, “County governments can only be described as KEMSA’s priority or prestige clients, and we are sparing no effort to ensure that we meet their last mile medical supplies needs as best as we can.”

The Authority, she added, is collaborating closely with County Governments to incorporate digital solutions that help speed up efficient service delivery as part of the KEMSA reform journey—through a comprehensive operational and reform plan known as the KEMSA 2.0 strategy. To make the ordering, confirming, and distribution of medical supplies easier, the Authority has continued to improve the automation of its operations through technological solutions.

System integration between KEMSA and County Governments will enable end-to-end inventory visibility throughout the value chain for health commodities.

“These systems include the Logistics Management Information System (LMIS), the Ministry of Health Kenya Health Information System (KHIS), and the KEMSA Electronic Proof of Deliveries (e-POD App). These technology systems will facilitate better information visibility across the supply chain system and contribute to inventory accuracy at the National and County operating levels,” Ramadhani told the Taskforce members.

A report released in March by Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o showed the 47 counties had accumulated pending bills worth KES 107 billion.

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