Order, Hon. Senators! Could we confirm if we have a quorum?
We have 18 hon. Senators in the House. We have a quorum.
Yes, Senator for Meru? GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO SUPPORT MIRAA TRADERS
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to request for a Statement from the Government through the Senate Majority Leader on the issue of miraa. Given the fact that miraa, which is also known as khat, is a unique stimulant and a cash crop which plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of Meru County and, two, that miraa is a major employer, which employs thousands of people as miraa farmers and also as miraa pickers, transporters, wholesalers, retailers, exporters and importers, both locally and internationally; and, three, that miraa is not a drug as it is not prohibited by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act which was passed by Parliament in 1994 and lastly, that His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee leadership have consistently promised to support miraa farmers and traders in the expansion of miraa industry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to hereby request the Senate Majority Leader to bring to this House a Statement from the Government stating clearly:- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senator for Meru! Before I allow the Senate Majority Leader to respond, I want to bring to your attention Standing Orders No.42 and 43 which state as follows:- “Notwithstanding Standing Order No.39 (Sequence of
, the Speaker shall interrupt the business of the Senate every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. to facilitate Senators to make general statements of topical concern.” But the statement you are seeking seems to fall under Standing Order No.43, which should be made on Thursdays and not on Tuesdays. I allowed you because I know you are very passionate about this particular subject, but for purposes of the reply, the Senate Majority Leader can do it on Thursday, which is the appropriate day for these kinds of statements.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I just wish to – in connection with that statement and other requests for statements like that – seek your direction or your guidance. In the history of Parliament, where we were before, we had Members of the Executive – Ministers in the House – and they used to answer Questions, but now we do not have them. So, we have our own, maybe Majority Leader or, maybe a Committee Chairman, doing that work. But now we have broken that rule completely because the Cabinet Secretary of Finance went to the National Assembly and addressed the House from the Dispatch Box where Ministers used to address the House. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am requesting that if an issue like this comes up, other than asking, mandating or requiring our own Member to go and get an answer and then come back – now that we have broken that rule that Cabinet Secretaries are no longer strangers and they can come into the House – why can we not get the Cabinet Secretary concerned to come and answer the question?
While I will need time to consider your point of order in its entirety, it suffices to say for now that each House is independent of the other in terms of the way they conduct their own Motions, and we have our own views on how we would like to conduct ours, especially on the issue of Statements. Last week, we went to great lengths to explain that this is a new procedure and, so, there is no rule of thumb or an agreed manner in which the responses could be happening. So, we needed to do a bit of research and from our own practice, find an appropriate way. So, we will deal with it the way we had agreed last week; which means that from my understanding of our Standing Orders, it is actually the Chairperson of the Committee to respond to such a The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Kiraitu?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at the Order Paper, Order No.7 reads “Statements.” You said I was kind-of out of order to raise this matter today, but why is it on the Order Paper?
If we are not allowed to request for Statements today, then why do you not remove Order No.7 from the Order Paper?
Order! These are the orders available for the day; and not all of them will have business each and every day. And on this particular one, the Standing Orders have provided; there are still statements that can be made today and those are the ones referred to in Standing Order No.42. It is only that your kind of Statement falls under Standing Order No.43, which spells that you can make them only on Thursdays. Just like the Statement by the Senate Majority Leader on behalf of the Rules and Business Committee on the business for the following week that can only be made on Thursday. Now, that does not mean that we should just be changing the Order Paper. You know the orders are always there and, so, it would look ugly if, one day, we remove Statements. The next Order is Order No.8 and between Orders Nos.6 and 8, there is Order No.7, which is Statements. So, to avoid that kind of situation, we just keep all of them because we are guided by the Constitution, our Standing Orders and our practice; and Senators are expected to know. For today, if you had a Statement of a general nature, you could still have done it under the same Standing Order. What is it, Sen. Musila? CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING MARGINALISED COUNTIES TO BENEFIT FROM EQUALISATION FUND
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. On 14th of May, 2013, I raised an issue on a point of order concerning the criteria for determining the marginalised counties to benefit from the Equalisation Fund. In your Communication from the Chair on 21st May, you directed that the matter be considered by the Joint Committee of Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs, and the Committee on Devolved Government; and that the Joint Committee’s Report be filed to the Senate within two weeks from that date of 21st May. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is already almost a month now and I was standing on a point of order to request you to urge these Committees to bring the report as you directed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Where are the Chairs of the two Committees; Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs, and Devolved Government? Is there any ranking Member of the Committees present who could give an explanation or, at least, a status report? Yes, Sen. Mukiite?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not had the opportunity to discuss the matter, but I will take it up with the Chair, who is not here, and we will bring a report in time.
You represent which Committee?
Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs.
Give an undertaking; which other period do you need?
I think two weeks.
Okay, you have another two weeks. Yes, Sen. Wangari?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Committee on Devolved Government and due to the events that have been unfolding, we have not had good time to look into the matter. But I am also taking it up; we will look into it in the next two weeks. On behalf of my Chairman, who is outside the country, we will table the report to this House.
It shall be so ordered; we will give you another two weeks. Please look at this matter because business from the Floor of the House and directed by the Chair must be taken very seriously.
I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki?
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just wanted to seek clarification from you concerning the request for a Statement that has just been made by the Senator for Meru. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the clarification I am seeking is in connection with the timing, because you have said that ordinarily, the statement should be made on Thursday. Given what we had last week; namely that the Chair of the National Security and Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Haji, laid a Statement here whereby hon. Senators raised certain concerns about proof of sources of information, I agree with the guidance that you gave this House. For that purpose, I seek your clarification on whether it is in order for me to request to give that Statement on Thursday next week for the purpose that I would want both the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Agriculture and the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Internal Security to provide credible and final authoritative information since these Cabinet Secretaries are new and it will require a bit of information gathering on their part. I want to request whether you can give me up to Thursday next week instead of Thursday this week. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Senator for Meru County, what is your comment on giving the responder a bit more time?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter is urgent and very important to us. But since the Senate Majority Leader wants to bring a comprehensive Statement, we will wait until next week, so that he can consult with the Cabinet Secretaries in charge of these matters.
Senate Majority Leader, let us have the Statement on Thursday, 27th June, 2013. Let us move on to Order No.8
Hon. Senators, I wish to remind you that we should conclude debate on this Motion today by disposing of the various amendments before us.
Sen. (Dr.) Machage, if you may approach the Chair.
Order, hon. Senators! We cannot proceed with Orders No.8 and No.9 for now because of the need to certify the numbers for voting. As per Standing Order No.39, we will recast the Motions and start with the Motion under Order No.10 by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. ESTABLISHMENT OF LEVEL FIVE HOSPITALS IN ALL 47 COUNTIES
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. At independence, one of the pledges that the Government made to Kenyans was to eradicate diseases and hence the establishment of hospitals and other facilities for that purpose---
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage! You need to move the Motion before you start---
But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am in the process of moving it.
No, you are not!
Order! You move the Motion by reading it as it appears on the Order Paper. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
I was coming to that, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that in the last fifty years the best equipped public hospitals were established in certain regions in Kenya to the exclusion of other regions; appreciating that the introduction of the devolved system of government, through the Constitution of Kenya 2010, was aimed at equalization of development across the country; concerned about the high maternal, infant and child mortality rates in Kenya mainly caused by lack of primary and secondary health services; the Senate resolves that the Government establishes a Level 5 hospital in each of the 47 counties and Level 4 hospital in every sub county, before the expiry of the term of the current government and provides annual reports on the development of the hospitals to the Senate through the Senate Standing Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. Mr. Speaker, Sir, figures do not lie. I have been looking at certain demographic factors and data available to us in the country. The situation is appalling taking cognizance of the fact that in this country our life expectancy, which was about 63 years in 1990, has fallen to slightly below 50 years currently courtesy of the HIV/AIDs epidemic and other diseases. With a fertility rate of about 4.63 per cent, only about 42 per cent of mothers access proper delivery services. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we know that we have a deficiency in the number of nurses and doctors currently in this country’s medical service. However, the distribution of the above staff is not equitable. If we look at the infant, child and maternal mortality rates, which would be considered as indicators of the health status of a country, we will be shocked to learn that the discrepancy in these rates shows the differences in establishment of medical facilities in the country. For instance, the average maternal mortality rate in this country is about 400 per 100,000 live deliveries. Most of the areas in this country have rates above that. In certain regions, for example, near Nairobi, we have below 300. In North Eastern Province, we have a rate of 1,000 to 1,200. In other words, for every 100,000 mothers who give birth to live babies, about 1,000 to 1,200 will die in this province. This is attributed mainly to no delivery services. Most of these mothers actually deliver at home. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at the under five mortality rates, the children who will die below five years of age, per 1,000, the average in the country is 74 per 1,000 children. But in certain regions, we have figures that are higher. Most of the places will be between 110 to 115 per 1,000. In North Eastern Province, the figures are 206 per 1,000 children. In some areas of Central Kenya, which is supposedly well-equipped with hospital facilities, we have a rate of 163 per 1,000 where as some areas have 54 per 1,000. In Nairobi County, for example, Embakasi has a child mortality rate of 245 per 1,000 and Kibera, 186 per 1,000. This means that for every 1,000 children born alive, 245 will die within their first five years of life in Embakasi. The average in Western Kenya is around 153 per 1,000. Thanks to some good services, Eastern Province has the lowest which is 39 children per 1,000. Whereas we know that the vaccination rate coverage in The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to second this Motion realizing that issues of health touch on every mwananchi in this country. The Mover of this Motion is a doctor trained in his own right. Therefore, he knows what he is bringing to this House. I serve in the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare where we were articulating these issues very well. We have come up with a very ample and a tentative summary of what is happening in the country. As he clarified, he is not targeting any region or any political party for any political purpose. This is meant to reach our people with proper facilities. Something that he did not touch that we should remind ourselves of is that in the President’s Inaugural Speech, he talked about the antenatal and postnatal care for our women. I wish this could also be incorporated in this Motion. Health issues are meant for all of us, and I think this Motion has come at a proper time where the Senate is only three months old. If we are concerned and care about the welfare of our people, this is the most appropriate time to discuss health issues. Therefore, I second.
Yes, Senator for Bungoma!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me laud Senator (Dr.) Machage for his positive thinking and for bringing this very important Motion. If you watched television yesterday and the previous day, you must have seen some families in Baringo who can only see during the night due to health difficulties. It is instructive to know that the second President of this country, for twenty four years, came from Baringo. That does not seem to have helped. Senator (Dr.) Machage wants – which I support – Level 5 hospitals established in each county. I am not sure about Level 4 in each sub-county because in some areas, the sub-counties are equal to constituencies and are fairly small and can adequately be served by well equipped dispensaries and health The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to start by thanking the Mover and seconder of this Motion. I am also a Member of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. Mr. Speaker, Sir, many counties suffer from inadequate health services, and I want to cite my own county, Turkana, which is 77,000 square kilometres with a population of 800,000, who hardly get adequate medical services. If these facilities are established in the 47 counties, especially my county, they will definitely alleviate healthcare problems in those counties. My county is one of those counties which border other countries, with a porous international border. This border comes with problems. There are diseases that are brought by people crossing from other countries. We have cases of Polio, Hydatid, Kala-azar, a very strange disease that affects pastoralists in West Pokot, Turkana and other borders. When we respond to these problems, it is difficult to mobilize doctors from Nairobi to serve Kenyans along those borders. These are the same areas which suffer numerous problems of diseases that actually affect them as a result of poverty, famine and starvation. I know of cases where cholera spreads in some of these areas and sweeps so many people. We have had to lose so many lives as a result of lack of attention and adequate services to our people. We need to establish these Level 5 hospitals in the 47 counties. I think that we also need the Level 4 hospitals in all counties, which my friend, Sen. Wetangula, says may not be appropriate in some counties. I would imagine that in a county like Trans Nzoia which looks smaller, there are so many people who require those services. Therefore, it will not do any harm to have so many Level 4 hospitals in those areas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we, in Turkana County, decided to have ambulances in each sub-county, to alleviate the problem of referrals affecting our county. This is something The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Senator for Migori for bringing this Motion. I thought that it is important, very early, to say a few things, so that as the Senators continue with debate, it will be good if we put it into perspective. Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, this Motion about equalizing the country in terms of public health facilities is justified and is in the Constitution. So, it is not something that is being invented. It is the whole idea of making sure that the country is equal. From the side of the Jubilee Government, we believe that equalizing Kenya is a critical driver to a peaceful country. So, it is for that reason that part of the Jubilee Manifesto is addressing some of these things, although not in the specific aspects of this Motion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, secondly, this Motion is actually related to the right to health in Article 43 of our Constitution. But before I talk about Article 43, because that for me will set the legal parameters which can help us in debating this Motion, I am glad that this Motion has been raised as a developmental issue and not a political issue. I thank the Mover for providing statistics because it is not fair to have a situation where in one county nearly 300 out of 1,000 children will die before their fifth birthday, while in another county that number is less than 50. It seems that there is something there that needs to be adjusted. So, the way the Motion has been cast, it not trying to lay blame on anybody. I thank also my friend, who is leaving the Chamber, the Leader of the Minority, because he has given the example of Baringo, and I like that example. We saw very appalling conditions of families in Baringo, despite the fact that for 24 years, the President of the country came from that county. So, this is not a political issue. It has nothing to do with who has been President or wherever. I thank those who have spoken for setting us on those trajectories, because then it helps us to soberly and dispassionately look at this issue, without political undertones. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the third point that I want to make is with regard to---
Order, Senate Majority Leader! I hope that you are not implying that you have assumed the role of a prefect in the way Members contribute. Freedom of speech is one fundamental issue protected in the debating Chamber.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Mr. Speaker, Sir, agreed, but I have an obligation, with your permission, to also make sure that the right perspective is maintained, so that this freedom is not abused to settle small political The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is my learned junior in order to arrogate himself powers that he does not have, in making a contribution that appears to send messages of implied censorship of Members’ speeches?
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe in freedom, immunities and privileges of this House. In any case, that is not an option, but what the law says. The last thing that I can do, given my background as an academic, is to try and muzzle anyone. My background as an academic is that I am used to freedom of thought and all manner of exchanges for the welfare of society and exchange of ideas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you allow me, I will proceed to say that the reason I am talking about Article 43 is because the right to health is a socio-economic right. All those rights, under Article 43, are subject to Article 22 of the Constitution, which talks about progressive realization of those rights. They are not rights that can be realized immediately. The right to health is in very few constitutions and Kenya is one of the most liberal Constitutions on this matter. So, even as we ask the Government to construct these facilities, we are treading in an area where even the most liberal democracies have refused to touch. In our Constitution, it is couched as a human right but subject to two things: One, progressive realization of those rights; two, subject to the availability of resources. I want to agree with the Senate Minority Leader, who is my learned senior but my junior in this House, that we need to make a decision to stick with Level 5 and talk about equipping Level 4 hospitals. The whole issue is about equipment and human resources much more than the physical existence of some of these facilities. We do not want to make our Constitution and its provisions in Article 43 look like an empty rhetoric that can undermine our Constitution. Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I sit down, I want to illustrate my point with a case that was decided by the Constitutional Court of South Africa on a similar issue. You can have laws which are so good but if you do not look at the contours that govern the implementation of those laws, you will put the country under a crisis and the legitimacy of the Constitution is questioned. In South Africa, where we have copied our Article 43 from, we have a similar provision. In the South African Constitution of 1996, Article 27(3) says:- “No one may be denied of emergency medical treatment” Two years after the passage of that Constitution, a person who had chronic kidney failure called Soobramoney filed a suit in the Constitutional Court of South Africa where he claimed that he had chronic kidney disease and because he had a right to health under the Constitution, especially the right to emergency medical treatment, he was entitled to permanent dialysis which he had been denied at the provincial hospital in Kwa Zulu Natal in Durban. The court went on to say many things and, of course, ruled against him saying the following things:- First, that the right to health is progressive; secondly, it is subject to available resources. So, the only thing the state could be put to task on is how it has used the available resources in the country to equalize the country and promote the right to health as opposed to saying, for example, the state must provide emergency The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Point of information, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Point of information allowed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I inform my learned friend that, in fact, the African Union (AU) has taken a position on this and has given an advisory resolution that every African country should do its level best to make sure that 15 per cent of its gross national budget goes to health.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki: Thank you for that information, Mr. Speaker, Sir. That is something that we need to consider---
Except that there is nothing hard in terms of information because the Mover used that as the Abuja Declaration.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki: Yes, I accept that because I do not know everything but also, he did not know about Soobramoney.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to end by saying that I like the words he has used even as he was informing me “the level best”. Those are the words we want to see in this Motion: That hospitals should do their level best. If that language is used, we can see what official position to take.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for this opportunity but I will slightly gravitate away from the Motion and request a Statement of information either from the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, Sen. Mong’are from Nyamira is new and so is Sen. Abdirahman from Wajir. They all came to the first Senate for the first time. If Sen. Abdirahman from Wajir seems to have understood the Standing Orders, then there is no explanation why the Senator from Nyamira has not understood them. He is completely out of order. In any case, he has already approached the Chair and was guided accordingly. So, there is no compulsion on his part or on the part of the Chair to inform the House what the Standing Orders require one to do. You are supposed to provide a written Statement to the Speaker before 3.00 p.m. which you did. The Speaker is required, at 6.00 p.m. to grant you the time to ventilate on your Statement. I thought I guided you and then for you to purport to contribute to a Motion and seek a Statement from the same Motion and especially when you make a declaration that you will be gravitating away from the Motion, it just confirms that you are completely out of order and you knew it.
Senators, Sen. Mong’are is out of order and cannot proceed. So, I have given the opportunity to Sen. Ongoro.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion and state that the drafters of our Constitution did well by recognizing health as a basic human right. Indeed, good health is a human right and now that it has been recognized and enshrined in the Constitution, it is now a constitutional right to all Kenyans. Article 43 obligates the Government to provide this basic human right. The examples that have been put across by the Senate Majority Leader, I appreciate them but it is always good practice not to copy those who have failed. A country like South Africa saw it okay to deny one of their citizens a basic human right but it does not obligate us to copy them because they failed. In my opinion, it is not a good example. In business, we are always encouraged to copy the best practices. You copy only those who, in your opinion, have done well and excelled. Having said that, I think we would be in order to encourage ourselves that while we want to have this Motion passed, it is important to know that as we are currently, even if we build the 47 Level 5 hospitals, we would not have the human resource to support them. So, we should immediately put the right infrastructure in place in terms of constructing more housing facilities and also relooking critically at our education curriculum both in primary and secondary schools that support science subjects. This will enable us have many people enrolled in medical institutions who will then eventually graduate as doctors and nurses to sustain the physical infrastructure that we will have put in place. Apart from that, we should also find a way of remunerating our medical The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to add my voice to what the other Senators have said. I stand to support the Motion which has been brought to the Floor of the House by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. This Motion is long overdue because if you look around, the uneven distribution of health facilities in the country continues to widen. There are disparities in affordability and access to medical care. I take my county as an example. In Trans Nzoia County, we have a hospital by the name Kitale District Hospital. This hospital serves many neighbouring counties and even Uganda, but the hospital is ill-equipped. You find that we do not have specialized equipment and so when someone is suffering from a kidney problem or requires a CT scan, he or she has to travel all the way to Eldoret or come to Nairobi. If you have the frequency to attend the doctor maybe four times in a week, if you are having kidney problems, it forces you to relocate to Eldoret which is a very expensive affair. In the Constitution, there is a provision relating to health which my fellow colleagues have touched and it is, therefore, the duty The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute. I want, on the outset, to say that I support this Motion. This Motion calls for building of new hospitals and promoting existing hospitals so that each of the 47 counties will have a Level 5 hospital before the end of the term of this Parliament, which is 2017. But before I discuss the substance of this Motion, I want to remind my colleagues that it is 50 years since Independence and it is very sad that 50 years after Independence, this country can witness the kind of medical facilities that we have, particularly in the rural areas. Madam Temporary Speaker, people die unnecessarily from diseases or incidents which they ought not to die from. In the rural areas, people die from simple snake bites simply because we do not have snake venom that one is injected after a snake bite. People die of rabies because there is no medicine. The other day we saw a documentary on one of the television stations where – I believe it is in Pokot county – people had to be given drips under a tree because facilities do not exist. Three weeks ago, the Medical and Dentists Board had to punish a doctor from Mwingi District Hospital who was called from a bar where he was drinking to go and attend to a mother who needed a caesarian section operation and he went and operated the lady, left the belly open and went back to the bar to continue drinking. This is Kenya 50 years after Independence. Today, we have a lot of dead bodies detained by doctors in various hospitals. Even the Kenyatta National Hospital, which is a Government hospital, has detained dead bodies. When a patient unfortunately dies in hospital and the family cannot pay medical bills, the body is detained in the hospital for non-payment of bills. Why am I saying all these? I am saying this to remind our colleagues that we are very far. If a national hospital like Kenyatta National Hospital is detaining dead bodies of poor people--- Even if we call it a referral hospital or Level Four, unless we equip this hospital with proper personnel – I think the Senate Majority Leader alluded to this – probably this is the answer. Yesterday I visited the Mwingi District Hospital where I come from. It is just a hospital by name because simple things like kits for theater are lacking. They probably have one kit and yet they are not expensive items. I think we should go beyond the spirit of this Motion and talk more about equipping the existing facilities, especially now that we are devolving. I want to support Sen. Wetangula because he is alluding to the existing conditions. I think here we have done very well. Both the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader have spoken very well and we are all on one wave length; that first and foremost, we want facilities to be improved. We also want the staff working in these hospitals to know that this is our country and they must look after the patients. This is so important. The devolution that we have been talking about in the last two weeks must also be given a chance with respect to health facilities. The other day the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury announced that 30 nurses will be recruited for every constituency, and I said that that was not his role. That is the role of the Governor and his County Government. So, if we have devolved health services, what business does the Ministry of Health have in recruiting nurses for counties when governors are there and The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I wish to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion by Sen. (Dr.) Wilfred Machage. This is really a very important Motion for all of us and the whole country. Madam Temporary Speaker, the truth of the matter, as stated by a number of my colleagues, is that Kenya as a country and its leadership through successive governments have been fighting from Independence – what they told us from childhood – ignorance, disease and poverty. For instance, ignorance in places where I come from, unlike in Central, is at 30 per cent today. In about five out of eight regions in this country the literacy levels could be as low as 30 per cent. Diseases are also very prevalent. Wajir District, where I come from, is said to have four district hospitals. The other day I said that even the oldest hospital at the county headquarters can only supply condoms and people asked me:- “Why do you say that the people of Wajir do not need condoms?” Yes, we need them. But as I said, it may not be a priority. Unfortunately, I feel that the problem has not been that we missed resources. The problem has been misplaced priorities. Just before the elections, one of the district headquarters in the southern part, which I come from, received Kshs15 million to construct a fence in a new district hospital when it does not have the basic drugs. Is that not corruption, colleagues? That is corruption of the highest order or level in this country. If we do not combat corruption in this country, we will not be able to establish what we are talking about. We are lucky that health now is a county function. Unless they devolve it fully with power and resources, we will not be able to make a difference in this country. Health is a right in the Constitution, just like education. Section 43(1)(a) states that everybody has a right to the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Bi. Spika wa Muda, nakushukuru kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili nichangie Hoja hii ambayo ni ya maana sana. Bi. Spika wa Muda, nimesikiza kwa makini yaliyosemwa na wenzangu. Ningependa kuongezea tu kwamba inahuzunisha sana tunapoangalia mambo yanayotokea katika taifa letu na mambo yanayopewa kipao mbele. Nasema haya kwa sababu Kenya imedhihirisha kwamba inauwezo wa kuwaangalia wananchi wake na kutoa huduma zinazohitajika. Lakini maswala ambayo tunaweka mbele yetu kwa kawaida hayasaidii taifa letu hata kidogo. Nasema haya kwa sababu leo tunajua maswala na masaibu ambayo yametajwa hapa kama viongozi. Tunajua kwamba katika Bajeti mbele ya Bunge sasa ina kitita cha Kshs700 millioni ambazo zitatumika kumnunulia Rais Mstaafu ofisi ya kifahari, aitumie yeye pekee, ilhali tuna mambo haya ambayo tumeyazungumzia hapa. Sisi ni viongozi ambao tunatenda vile tunavyotaka, bila kuwajali waliotuchagua. Hatushughulikii shida za wananchi kwa makini. Ninasema hivi kwa sababu tukitumia Kshs700 millioni kununua ofisi ya Rais Mstaafu, na katika Kaunti 47 hakuna hosipitali, inamaanisha kwamba sisi ni viongozi ambao hatujali. Tukiendelea hivi, hata tukipitisha Hoja hapa za kujenga hosipitali haitakuwa na maana kama hatutakuwa na pesa za kujenga. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. Madam Temporary Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the Mover for bringing this important Motion. This country’s health sector is one that I would say has been left behind. It is a sector that we can say is not only taking care of the sick, but is itself sick. My colleague here from Trans Nzoia has talked about a hospital that was built during the colonial days when the population was very low. It has retained the same facilities and beds in such a way that up to three or four patients have to share one bed even as they suffer from different diseases. It is a hospital which has no scan facilities or even X-ray, yet they used to be there. Madam Temporary Speaker, we have only 47 counties. Those are the ones that have been proposed to move to Level 5. I support that idea, but do not support the idea that we do it progressively. The Mover has already said that it will be from this year to the end of this term. That progression is already catered for. The major cost of living for our people today is food, school fees for their children and medical services. Medical services of late have proved to be the most expensive item. This has led to deaths. We attend funerals every weekend. From the stories we hear, you will realize that most of the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. This Motion could not have come at a better time. As a Senate, we have the responsibility of ensuring that services within our counties are equal. We should be equal to the task that we were elected for. Sen. (Dr.) Machage, being a medical doctor feels for all of us. Sometimes, patients die because of lack of facilities. When I look at a county like Nakuru that I represent, there are 11 constituencies. When I consider the distances covered for one to get medical care, it is important we all support this Motion. However, I feel that when we The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Senator for Kakamega.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I wish to congratulate my senior colleague in the medical profession, Dr. Machage for this visionary Motion. In supporting this Motion, I want to start by bringing to the attention of my colleague Senators and the rest of the country that what Sen. (Dr.) Machage is attempting to achieve and what we seem to be all united behind, is actually an admission that the Government of Kenyatta, the Government of Moi and the Government of Kibaki failed us. We can have all the 47 Level 5 hospitals, but it would not change the status of health in the country. The real answer lies in the provision of primary health care to all Kenyans. If you go to all these hospitals, including Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), all the in- patients are there for the wrong reasons. They are there because somebody failed to prevent the illness. Most of the beds are occupied by patients who have preventable illnesses that could be taken care of by proper investment in preventive health services. Madam Temporary Speaker, indeed, one must thank God for giving us a land of plenty. At the same time, I pray and beg the same God to save us from leadership that has no vision whatsoever. It is a pity that 50 years after Independence, mothers across the whole country die while giving birth. Our little beautiful boys and girls of school going age can die because of simple disease like Malaria. Sometimes, a prescription is given to a parent to go and buy a drip for admission of quinine into the system of the child. Since the mother cannot afford it, the child dies. She carries the child back home. We want to beg God to visit it on President Uhuru that he remains visionary. He must get the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Is it in order for the Senator for Kakamega County to impute that it is the Jubilee Government policy offering or giving the retired President those packages while, indeed, the Government has not owned up to those packages? My colleague is also aware that, indeed, the Committee on Budget of the National Assembly has refused to accede to that proposal. I think it is not right for Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale to impute that it is the Jubilee Government’s policy.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I think what he has just said passes for a point of information. But if, indeed, it is not the Jubilee Government’s choice, then how come it was the Cabinet Secretary of the Jubilee Government who tabled those budgetary estimates in the House? If he is confirming that it is not the Jubilee Government, then, please, tell them to go and find that devil that is introducing this plan in the economy of this country because it is not in any way beneficial to Kenyans. But I thank him for the information. Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to disabuse the notion that has been propagated by some of my colleagues here, almost to the extent of casting aspersions on the doctors and nurses. The doctors and nurses of Kenya are some of the best professionals in the world as evidenced by the fact that if you go to hospitals in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Botswana, South Africa and Australia, we have a whole plethora of our medical doctors and nurses working there. We should be grateful to them. The reason they are there is because we do not have a visionary leadership; a leadership that can think that we can retain a medical professional on a meager salary that we should be paying to goat herders in other countries. The Senator of Nakuru County has a raised a very important point and I hope somebody listened to him. You cannot expect Nakuru and Kakamega County to benefit from this Motion in its present form. In fact, those of us who come from Kakamega County will be approaching this by begging for listenership from the system on the need for us to convert the former Kakamega Provincial Hospital into a teaching and referral hospital, so that the pressure on that hospital can be removed by creating Level 5 hospitals in Butere, Mumias, Lugari, Malava and Malinya towns. Each hospital in those towns can be left for purposes of training and handling specialized problems. Madam Temporary Speaker, I cannot sit down without commenting on a trend that seems to be emerging in this country as evidenced by the remarks of Sen. Kagwe. There seems to be an attempt to start victimizing and punishing doctors for mistakes that lead to deaths of patients in hospitals. A doctor who has been trained at the School of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. I do not think it is fair for the Kakamega Senator to first tell this House that he has seen me enjoying a beer while, indeed, I am a Christian and I do not drink beer. Even a more serious point of order, I hope the Senator is not trying to give the doctors a carte blanche whereby they can get away with all the sins that qualified doctors can commit---
Sen. Njoroge, I think you have to stick to your point of order, which I think you have discharged very effectively. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale!
Madam Temporary Speaker, I think with due respect to my friend, he knows what we normally do when we meet at Kwa Njuguna . I am a Christian too. I was assuming that being a Christian like him, what I was doing, he was also doing the same. With all due respect! Madam Temporary Speaker, this condemnation of doctors will discourage doctors. Senators should be aware that it might be you who will be the patient and the doctor will say: “I am not going to go all out of my way, I will wait when the best environment is in place before I attempt to save the life of this patient.” It is important that I give you this information as a health professional. It is better for you to die when a doctor is trying to save your life than to die when a doctor fears that should he touch this patient, then he dies, he will face litigation. Even in the United States of America, the issue of litigation against doctors of medicine is there. You all know the case of the doctor for the late Michael Jackson. In fact, he is serving four years in jail. But before that decision is made, there should be clear cut due process. I want to call upon the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) to ensure that they rise and defend the interests of doctors. In fact, the fact that you are now seeing trade unions led by doctors, it simply means that these young doctors are not receiving leadership from the KMA. I would like to thank the former Government of President Kibaki for the investment they made in a few hospitals in Kakamega County. I want to appeal to the current President Kenyatta to ensure that the projects that were started by President Kibaki, mainly, Eguhu Hospital, Malava Hospital, the hospital at Lumakanda and Shibuye are completed. They should not be left in the hands of the Governor who might not have enough resources at his disposal. With those remarks, I wish to support and congratulate Sen. (Dr.) Machage.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I want to support the Motion. I would like to start by pointing out something to the previous Senator. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, leaders are chosen by God the same way our current President and Deputy President were chosen by God and, in the same way, you were. So, as much as we want each county to have a Level 5 Hospital, the support we give them is what will give this word to practice. We all have hospitals in our counties that were built many years back. If we keep finding the smallest opportunity to criticize other than give The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Asante Bi Spika wa Muda kwa wakati huu ulionipa ili niweze kuchangia Hoja hii. Kwa upande wangu, ninashukuru sana kwa sababu ya Hoja hii. Kwanza ukiangalia kwa upande wa usafiri, unapata kwamba hizi hospitali ziko mbali sana. Kwa mfano wakati mwingine unapata mzazi amebeba mtoto wa miaka kumi na anatembea kwa muda mrefu kwa sababu hakuna usafiri bora. Pia kuna upungufu wa madaktari. Kwa mfano, unapata hakuna daktari ambaye anaweza kusaidia mtoto ambaye ni kiziwi. Hakuna madaktari wanaoweza kutumia signlanguage . Inafaa madaktari washughulikie walemavu. Ninaunga mkono Hoja hii.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute and support the Motion by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. Indeed, the Motion is well conceived and well timed. It serves this nation at the right time when we are embarking on a new journey. We have a new Constitution that guarantees and promises the people The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
This is the only time for you to bring your amendments.
Madam Temporary Speaker, although I would want to bring the amendments now, I am mindful of the fact that we do not have the requisite number to vote on an amendment. So, I would propose to bring my amendment later. As I finish, Madam Temporary Speaker, it is important also that as we make our proposals to the Government, that if we propose, for example, the number of Level 4 hospitals---
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Senators, do not speak for Sen. Wamatangi. Do you wish to be informed?
Madam Temporary Speaker, on this one I think I am well versed.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Did you see the Senate Minority Leader address the House while seated? Is that respect to the House and to---
It is definitely not! It actually skipped my mind; you must apologize for your action.
My sincere apologies, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Accepted. Can we proceed?
Madam Temporary Speaker, may I---
Madam Temporary Speaker, I am not very sure that my friend was not burning to come to the microphone. In that case, can I just allow him to give me the information?
It is okay.
Madam Temporary Speaker, may I inform my good friend, Sen. Wamatangi, that in a Motion such as this, you have an The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
While that is true, Senator, I believe that you have consulted your other colleagues and you are working on that.
Yes, indeed, Madam Temporary Speaker; I have consulted some of my colleagues. Indeed, we are intending to bring the amendment as one because there were various amendments that had been proposed. So, they will be brought as one by my other colleagues. As I finish, I just want to also make my colleagues aware that as we put the yardstick on what we would want this Jubilee Government to attain, it is important that we also give or put measurable goals which are also attainable. As we have proposed that we ask the Government to make sure that by the end of the life of this Parliament, all the 47 counties have a Level 5 hospital, the proposal to have a level four hospital in every sub-county may not only be unachievable, but it may also defeat or not serve the purpose intended. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. First, as the Kakamega County Delegation, I would like to condole those people who were killed in Nangili. It is on this note that I would like to talk about and support the Motion before the House. These people could not get the necessary treatment to survive just because there was no hospital nearby like in Nangili Market. They were rushed to Kongoni Hospital, but unfortunately, they were not also attended to. They did not get the treatment that they required. Madam Temporary Speaker, I have seen teenage boys suffer when they go for circumcision in hospitals. In some circumstances, they are circumcised by watchmen. If not, they are dressed poorly by cashiers. This ends up being a big problem just because we do not have enough doctors or practioners in charge of that. There are also very many patients being handled by these people. Another issue which makes me support the fact that we need Level 5 hospitals in all counties is because in the area of eye treatment, people have to travel all the way to Uganda to access this treatment. Mothers have decided to go the local way because roads are too impassable to allow them get to hospitals. Secondly, it is very expensive to access medical care. Thirdly, they do not want to go to hospitals to lie on beds unattended. That is why we need these hospitals. Residents of Likuyani and Lugari constituencies are forced to go to the neighbouring counties like Kitale District Hospital which is in Trans Nzoia, Webuye District Hospital which is in Bungoma County and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. Kakamega County has 12 constituencies. It is not everyone who can go to Kakamega for treatment. That is why I support that we have Level 5 and even Level 4 hospitals. I would like to inform the Jubilee Government that health is a basic requirement as stipulated in the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. As you can see, there is no quorum and yet this is a very important Motion. Could we discuss it further tomorrow?
Madam Temporary Speaker, the rules, practices and precedence - with long usage – bar a Member who has spoken on a Motion to stand and raise the issue of quorum.
You are overruled, Sen. Joy.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Although the Senator for Nyamira is a personal friend of mine, I just want to bring to your attention that he has already contributed to this Motion.
You are overruled. The Senator has not contributed to this Motion. The Speaker is very well informed. Sen. Mong’are, proceed!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for saving me from my friend. I would like to support the Motion that was brought by the Senator for Migori, a medic of excellence and concur with other speakers who have spoken to the Motion like Dr. Khalwale who has put it candidly that what we need in our hospitals is primary care. As we move on to a system of devolved governments, we should equip the hospitals that are available. Some have done very well through the CDF projects. Those which are there need to be equipped. For instance, Nyamira County has one district hospital which has the capacity of a referral hospital. This hospital was started ten years ago, but has never been officially commissioned. Today, it has a Medical Training College (MTC) coming up. I support that we empower people in our counties so as to access primary healthcare which is required. We need corporations to take up their corporate social responsibilities, but not in the piecemeal way we see happening around. A company like Safaricom which benefits from Kenyans and declare huge profits every now and then must contribute to the construction of Level 5 hospitals in all counties. We also have companies like Airtel and the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) among others. We also have banks which benefit from our people. They should come out and contribute in putting up hospitals like maternity wards for our women. As we move on, I hope that our governors will engage corporations in hospitals. I want to tread carefully and support the sentiments of Dr. Khalwale on the blanket condemnation of doctors who have messed up. This may not be as easy as doctors think. My wife is a consultant doctor. We have had an opportunity to drive to hospital at very odd hours. At times, there are no facilities in some of these hospitals. The Hippocratic rule is that you should use the best means to save a life. I am not saying that The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I commend Senator Machage for moving this Motion. As many Senators have expressed their opinion, he is, probably, the best person to have introduced a Motion of this nature since he is an accomplished doctor. His concerns are well founded. In supporting this Motion, probably, from the beginning, in carrying out these activities, they should not be brick and motor projects. For example, if you go round the country, you will find many health centres and dispensaries that have been established either through the CDF or some other initiatives. We also have the Nyayo Wards in several districts. Hospitals are trying to upgrade those medical centres. The most important thing is that as we provide those facilities and constructions, they should offer the services required. I visited a medical centre at Mageta Island, an Island with some historical value where many Mau Mau detainees were held. These are people like Paul Ngei. When I was there, I was shown the remains of the facility where Paul Ngei was kept and people like Waruru Kanja. However, instead of this Island being retained in remembrance of colonial detainees, we have settlements there and people who claim to own the land. Over the years, they have increased. I think that they have a population of more than 10,000 people now and they have a health centre. When I went there over the weekend, the state of that health centre was appalling. I think that it should not even be called a health centre. There are only two members of staff who are employed by the Government, because the county government has not taken over. The only two employees who, probably, were doing valuable work are employed by some Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs). In that hospital, there was a case of an old man who had severe burns all over the body. There was no facility to deal with that kind of emergency. There is a ferry that takes about 30 minutes between the mainland and the island. This was not, probably, the best facility for getting the patient across. But they were told at that health centre that the hospital in Bondo also could not accept that patient, because they did not have the facility and space for that particular patient. So, you have somebody in a health centre without adequate facilities. There is a district hospital which has no room to accommodate this patient. But even in that hospital there are no facilities to deal with these kinds of severe burns. Madam Temporary Speaker, yes, the brick and mortar kind of developments are important. It is good to see a hospital being constructed, but it must live to its name. I think that when Sen. Machage talks about a Level 4 or Level 5 hospital, he is not just talking about the buildings and, probably, even the other physical infrastructure. It should have the capacity to deal with the kind of problems that a Level 4 or Level 5 hospital should be dealing with. So, this is something that we must keep on emphasizing even as The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. This is an important Motion, but we do not have quorum.
It is true that we do not have quorum. I request that the Division Bell be rung to summon Members back to the House.
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Hon. Senators, we are unable to raise the requisite quorum. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, 19th June, 2013, at 9.00 a.m. The Senate rose at 5.50 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.