WANGAMA TABLES RESPONSE TO STATEMENT SOUGHT BY MABHISHI ON THE STATUS OF COUNTY AMBULANCES AND FATE OF CONTRACT DRIVERS
The Chairperson of the County Assembly Sectoral Committee on Health and Sanitation, and Wusi/Kishamba Ward MCA, Hon. Dancun Wangama, today during sitting No. 067, tabled a response to a statement sought by Hon. Joseph Mabishi, MCA Chawia Ward, on the status of county ambulances and fate of contract drivers.
In the statement, which was sought on 3rd October, 2023, Hon. Mabishi wanted the County Executive Department of Health through the Committee on health, to furnish the House with the status of ambulances in the four sub-counties and the fate of all ambulance drivers whose contract had expired.
In his response, Wangama said that the Committee on Health visited the four sub-counties and made the following observations:
That the County has a total of 8 ambulances; 2 in Taita sub-county, 1 in Taveta sub county, 2 in Mwatate sub-county and 3 in Voi Sub-county.
The two (2) ambulances in Taita sub-county (Wesu Hospital and Wundanyi Health Center) are all insured. However, only 1 is functional while the other is at the garage for service.
The ambulance in Taveta Sub-County is insured and in good condition and is functional.
That of the two (2) ambulances in Mwatate sub-county, one has a Third Party one-month insurance while the other is not insured. Only one ambulance is functioning.
That of the three (3) ambulances in Voi sub -ounty, Moi County Referral Hospital has one that is not insured while the Kasighau ambulance has a few issues that need servicing.
On the status of the drivers whose contracts have expired, the Committee noted that the County Department of Health Services, through its departmental Human Resources Advisory Committee, made a resolution that the contracts for the drivers be renewed. The Department is to set to present the same to the CHRAC, which would deliberate on their cases and advice the CPSB on the same.
Wangama told the House that the Department of Health Services had not done any notification to the County Public Service Board on the expiring of the contracts of the drivers by the time the statement was sought. He added that the Department did start the processes but that as soon as CHRAC’s advisory is received, the Board will be informed of the vacancies.
The Department, Wangama added, has also done a direct letter to the CPSB informing them on the expiry of contracts of the drivers and paramedics domiciled in the department. This action was taken due to the delays and urgency of the matter. However it was unprocedural since the letter ought to have originated from the office of the County Secretary.
The Department further submitted that it has taken measures to avert any crisis arising from the expired contracts including allowing drivers whose contracts have expired or about to, to continue working pending the renewal process. The Response also indicated that, in the worst case scenario, the Department has a pool of nine drivers, whose terms are Permanent and Pensionable, who can easily be mobilized to run the ambulance services.
The Department further committed to alert the CPSB to fast track the process of renewing the contracts of the drivers.
Statement Seeker, Hon. Mabishi, however, termed the response as unsatisfactory, noting that there’s no indication from the County Department of health Services on how long the ambulance drivers will have to wait for the contract renewal process to be concluded.
Hon. Wangama promised that the Assembly Committee on Health will meet with the Executive Department to further discuss the maters that are not clear.
Story by B.R.B