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Mystery of 2,170 ghost workers in city hospitals

A head count of health workers in Nairobi County has revealed the existence of 2, 170 ghost workers in health facilities who have been earning millions of shillings by the Health Ministry.

The total cost of the payroll for Nairobi is about Sh3 billion per year and is expected to go down by about a half, now that the numbers have gone down by a similar margin.

The issue became apparent following the July transfer of the Health function to the county governments.

As a result, the ministry transferred huge payrolls amounting to millions of shillings, which it had been servicing over the years.

The ministry for instance, transferred 4,300 workers to Nairobi, but after a head count, the county government established there were only 2,130 workers in the health facilities.

County governments are supposed to reimburse the national government the money paid to the health workers since July, when the function was transferred to them, which essentially means they will be paying for workers who do not exist.

It is also possible the Ministry of Health has been paying thousands of ghost workers over the years, causing the government to lose millions of shillings.

Nairobi County has already received about Sh8 billion so far for the functions already devolved, which include health and agriculture. Some functions in the road sector have also been devolved.

The county government allotted Sh1.9 billion to health in its budget, most of which has not been used because the supplementary legislation has not been passed due to the boycott by Members of the County Assembly.