The JM Kariuki Memorial Level Four Hospital in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County, which has been in existence for 44 years, will be upgraded to a level five referral hospital at a cost of Sh300 million.
The disclosure was made when local leaders toured the hospital and came face to face with the reality of the pathetic conditions that patients have to bear with.
Buildings at the hospital are old and dilapidated with the maternity ward being congested.
Woman Representative Faith Gitau said she was pained to see mothers sharing beds at the maternity ward and the long queues of patients.
However, the long queues were attributed to improved services at the hospital which is attracting patients from the neighbouring counties, especially those seeking treatment for lifestyle diseases as most medicines are free.
The congestion was also attributed to a shortage of staff and lack of a dispensary within Ol Kalou town.
“Our people do not benefit from free medical care since we have no dispensary within Ol Kalou town which also contributes to the congestion witnessed at JM Hospital,” said Ol Kalou Ward MCA Ken Mukira.
His sentiments were echoed by nominated MCA Kariuki Waithira who said a piece of land set aside for building Ol Kalou dispensary was grabbed by a private developer and urged the government to repossess it.
Governor Francis Kimemia said Sh100 million has been allocated to upgrade the JM Memorial Hospital and a similar amount will be allocated per financial year in the next two years.
“We have a shortage of professional staff; the former regime employed more casuals than professionals. Doctors have been retiring without replacement. We have from now decided to retain retiring doctors on contract. We also appeal for intervention from the Health ministry,” said Mr Kimemia.
He said the buildings are beyond repair and that the allocated funds will be spent in putting up new, modern structures on the 25-acre hospital land.
Mr Wambugu Kanuri, the hospital’s board chairman, said they have prioritised on the purchase of new, modern beds for the wards among other infrastructural developments and initiatives aimed at improving service delivery.
Governor Kimemia directed the new Health chief officer to curb the theft drugs at the hospital.
He said the vice should be eradicated within the next 100 days.
Other leaders who promised to support the proposed developments include Ol Kalou MP David Kiaraho and Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker Wahome Ndegwa.