KEMSA boss Dr Jonah Manjari Photo/dailynation

Trouble is looming in the health sector in several counties after the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) blocked them from receiving drugs from the agency due to huge debt.

The counties, Nairobi, Narok and Murang’a will no longer receive drugs from the agency while Kericho, Makueni, Kilifi and Kwale stopped seeking drugs from the agency in three months over unpaid bills.

Statistic from the agency show that Nairobi County owes the agency Sh284 million, while others are in arrears of Sh104.5 million Narok, and Murang’a Sh21 million.

The citizens in the seven counties, whom most seek health services at public hospitals are set to ride in rough tides as the low cost state hospitals for medicine will no longer be available.

The agency boss Dr Jonah Manjari says the counties in debt had breached repayment agreements that demanded partial clearance of the bills as a condition to reopen supplies.

“Some say they have not been given funds by the Treasury to sort the matter while others like Narok maintain that this is old debt which they have to authenticate yet nothing has been forthcoming,” he said.

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{ Read: Counties to be hit with drug shortage due to huge debts }

Nairobi and Muranga county governments had pledged to pay Sh30 million and Sh5 million  monthly until their arrears were cleared.

However, Nyeri, Kisumu Machakos and Isiolo enrolled for state driven universal health coverage (UHC)  programme escaped the block button from the agency as the national government makes direct pay for the medicine.

Residents in these counties receive affordable health services by paying so little to nothing for the services rendered since last December.

Nyeri has a clean book, but Kisumu, Machakos and Isiolo owe Kemsa Sh77 million, Sh34 million and Sh2.3 million respectively.

KEMSA has sought help from Senate to recover a total of Sh2.3 billion debts from various counties after efforts to recover the debt through intervention of Council of Governors, the Treasury and the Controller of Budget bore no fruit.

{ See also:Insurance captain to drive NHIF overhaul }

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Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]

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