The move by the Ministry of Health to cancel the Health Care Information Technology (HCIT) solutions project could see the government lose close to 20 billion shillings in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
The HCIT 4.9 billion shillings project was awarded to Seven Seas Technology Limited in 2017 and was to be rolled out by 2022 under the Managed Equipment Services (MES).
The project would see 98 referral, county and sub-county health facilities connected to a common data hub.
Seven Seas Technology Limited had started and completed the first phase of the project where they had set up a data and network operation center, radiology hub and training room and reporting room before they received a letter that stated the cancellation of the project.
The Ministry of Health, through Health Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache, drafted the letter on the 18th of November 2019 but did not disclose whether the project would continue later or whether they would advertise for the project afresh.
Already, several foreign firms had shown an interest in partnering with Seven Seas in the project that would see the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is one of the major components of President Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda.
Among the firms that were cleared by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) to inject cash to Seven Seas for the project were Japanese firms Africa Healthcare Master Fund PTE Limited (250 million shillings), and two others which were to put 2.5 billion shillings and 240 million shillings.
Upon the termination of the tender to SevenSeas, the health Permanent secretary denied that there was an agreement to have the Government Issue a support letter to SevenSeas, which was to determine if the investments would be unlocked.
Ms. Mochache said that the Support Letter from the government was not part of the requirement for SevenSeas and that the tender was terminated because they lacked the financial capability to see the project to completion without the help of the government.
SevenSeas chief executive Michael Macharia said his company will move to court to challenge the cancellation of the tender, in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary of Health dates 25th November.
Should the ministry fail to reverse its decision on the termination of the project awarded to SevenSeas, the government will have to compensate the company and that would cost billions of shillings.
Meanwhile, Members of the National Assembly were also displeased and summoned the Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki to explain why her ministry ended the project.
CS Sicily Kariuki is yet to respond to queries posed by members of the Senate concerning the termination of the HCIT project.