KSH227M Chinese Equipment Lands Health Ministry in Trouble

  • The Auditor-General Edward Ouko has raised queries over Health ministry’s secretive procurement of Ksh7 Billion CT scanners via a Chinese loan.

    The ministry had priced the scanners at Ksh227 Million against quotations of between Ksh 40-45 Million captured in Parliamentary reports.

    The ministry defended the unit cost, saying it included the construction of new buildings, air conditioners, special thermal film printer, report printer, warranty, and spare parts for five years among other components.

    A report by Business Daily indicated that no procurement documents were made available for audit in the quest to establish how Chinese firm, Neusoft Medical Systems, was hired to supply the 37 computerised tomography (CT) Scanners, according to Ouko.

    Information available indicates that Neusoft Medical Systems was proposed by the government of the People's Republic of China as a leading manufacturer of CT scans. Consequently, it was not possible to ascertain whether due diligence and fidelity to the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015 was observed,” Ouko revealed.

    In the deal, the Kenyan government contributed Ksh1.7 Billion under the agreement of economic and technical cooperation signed between the China Development Bank and the Treasury, which translates to 20 percent of the total cost.

    The Chinese government was to advance Ksh7 Billion.

    Neusoft was to supply, install, and maintain the CT scanners in hospitals identified by the ministry for five years.

    The equipment was to be installed at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital and 34 facilities in 34 counties.

    Procurement law demands tenders to be assessed by the evaluation committees of the procuring entity, which recommends to the accounting officer on firms or individuals to tap for purchase of goods in government and parastatals.

    The law also allows for direct procurement for sensitive goods like arms or specialised equipment, but demands detail of the contract be provided to the National Audit Office.