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Questions as gov't renovates Mathari Hospital ahead of Sh5B relocation to Karen

Auditor General raises concerns ahead of relocation of Mathari Hospital

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital (MNTRH), Kenya's main public psychiatric facility, is set to be relocated to Karen, where a modern facility is set to be built.

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Through the Ministry of Health, the relocation has been costed at Sh5 Billion of taxpayer shillings.

The government hopes that the modern facility in Karen will ease the pressure on Mathari Hospital staff in the facility that is currently located at Ruaraka along the Thika Superhighway.

Mathari stands on a parcel of land measuring 34.3 hectares which will be exchanged for a new parcel of land measuring 81.69 hectares, as confirmed by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu.

An audit of the Ministry of Health's books, for the year ending June 2021, also indicated that the relocation is projected to take a period of two years.

Ms Gathungu highlighted that the government is not in possession of the title deed for the parcel of land along Thika Superhighway, it only has an allotment letter provided to confirm ownership.

In the circumstances, the value of money and ownership of the land could not be established,” Ms Gathungu noted.

She added that the physical verification revealed the land was partially fenced by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and renovation works underway despite plans to relocate the facility.

Noting that the renovations will cost taxpayers Sh74,178,392, the Auditor General stated that hospital administration could not explain the rationale behind renovations yet the facility will not operate at the Ruaraka site after relocation.

Mathari hospital is a specialized National Referral, Training, and Research public institution in mental health and admits patients with severe psychiatric disorders who cannot afford private services.

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