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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,8TH APRIL 2018-The Ministry of Health has given governors a go ahead to include all the 47 counties in the Universal Health Care (UHC) piloting project.
However a set of four counties has been chosen to be placed on a 100 per cent UHC piloting programme with only 10,000 households in the remaining 43 counties being placed on the test phase.
Health CS Sicily Karuiki in a statement sent to the press on Sunday,says they are currently talking with relevant inistitutions including treasury to ensure the projects gets the much needed support as well as funding.
“My ministry is working in consultation with CoG and The National Treasury to ensure that funds for this aspect of UHC are made available,” The CS said.
She said the national government will mobilize available resources from conditional grants to fund the programme in the 43 counties factored into the plan.
The ministry assured that no county will be disenfranchised since the national government will not use resources earmarked for the counties to fund the programme.
CS Kariuki defended the ministry’s decision to undertake 100 per cent piloting in only four counties saying the move was founded on scientific tenets.
“This has been informed by science, which indicates that by piloting 100pc coverage in four counties as a sample size of the population, it will be enough to inform the design of UHC roll out across the entire country. We must pilot to create evidence,” she said.
“This arises from a critical challenge to the achievement of UHC, which is the identification of an operational approach that enables the rapid expansion of coverage for delivering an essential package of quality basic health services that is both fiscally sustainable and consistent with Kenya’s governance structure,” she went on explaining citing Thailand as an example where UHC was piloted in six provinces in April 2001 before a nationwide rollout a year later – April 2002.
Following a full council meeting on April 3, CoG had resolved to ask the national government to expand the UHC pilot phase to all counties even as it indicated that it had approached the Ministry of Health to partner in establishing more cancer centers in the country.
CoG Chairperson Josphat Nanok said at the time the establishment of four cancer hospitals would commence in May.
CS Kariuki underscored the importance of implementing UHC while noting the integral role affordable healthcare for all – a pillar in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s five-year delivery plan – would play in supplementing government efforts to eradicate poverty.
“The UHC is part of the Big Four Agenda announced by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure all Kenyans have access to quality healthcare services that they require without the risk of falling into poverty,” she pointed out.
“The President’s vision is that all people and communities can access and use health services (whether it is promotive, preventive or curative) they need, that is of sufficient quality to be effective, while ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship,” she added.
Affordable healthcare for all is a co-pillar in President Kenyatta’s four-point action plan, which includes food security, affordable housing, and manufacturing.