(Kennedy Mong'are Okong'o was the first Nyamira Senator. He is also the National Liberal Party leader)

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Since the commencement of the devolved governments under the 2010 constitution, Kenyans have witnessed tremendous development in almost every corner of the country unlike in the old political setup where development was politically distributed.

Among the benefits of the county government was the bringing of government closer to the people and devolution of several functions from the national government to the counties; healthcare, agriculture, water, environment, polytechnics and nursery education are just among the many that were devolved.

Nonetheless, among the mistakes of the Transitional Authority and the first Senate was the devolution of healthcare.

I was the only Senator who opposed the devolving of the crucial sector to the counties.

My counter-proposal was that access to primary healthcare, treatment and prevention of Malaria, Tuberculosis HIV/AIDS and the immunization of children be the only aspects of healthcare to be devolved.

The tragedy of devolved healthcare is that the national government remained with the Ministry of Health intact with only human resource, budget and oversight roles over the counties.

Secondly, most county governors were either ignorant or ill-prepared in this crucial mandate. This brings me to Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua’s administrative action of closing a privately-owned hospital in Machakos County (Shalom Community Hospital) over the mismanagement of patients. 

The governor was wrong since the cases of mismanagement of patients could have been addressed differently as the action has caused a crisis for patients who cannot afford to travel from that locality to governments hospitals.

My advice to Governor Mutua is that he should have deployed a medical expert to the closed facility to oversight and midwife the necessary changes in the facility. 

From the fore, in the event that Kenya holds a referendum, the issue of the health sector being reverted to the national government should be one of the pillars that Kenyans should wholesomely vote for in one accord.