Gov't to give up control of Mathari Mental Hospital

Mathari is Kenya's largest psychiatric facility

Sign post to the Mathari National Hospital (Twitter)

Health Cabinet Secretary Siciy Kariuki has announced that the Mathari National Hospital, known for its psychiatric facility, will be granted autonomy.

The government will relinquish its control of the facility but will continue to allocate funds to help with its daily running.

"There is a need to make the hospital autonomous to improve its efficiency. It should have its own board to oversee its operations.

"We are working on a formula to de-link it from the ministry so that it can independently focus on policy standardization and offer the best possible services," she stated.

The CS had toured the facility on an impromptu visit where she confirmed that the largest specialized psychiatric facility lacks basic equipment that is required to attend to patients.

Meagre Budget

CS Kariuki also observed that the hospital's current budgetary allocation is insufficient for the number of patients treated at any given time.

"The current budget cannot afford to cater for 700 plus patients here. We cannot put matters of mental health as back banner," she explained.

The CS added that her ministry will also form a special task force to advise on how other counties can enjoy similar services without having to go to Mathari.

"We will get report from technical team that will inform steps towards decentralizing mental health services," she stated.

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