REPUBLIC OF KENYA

UHC Pilot expands health services to 3.2 Kenyans

Nairobi (KENYA) December 17, 2019 – The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot program has created demand for health services in the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki said the program which is being piloted in the counties of  Machakos, Nyeri, Isiolo and Kisumu.has expanded health services to a population of 3.2 million Kenyans, in a period of 12 months and has provided the Ministry and County governments key lessons to roll it out to the rest of the country.

The CS made the remarks at the 6th Diaspora Homecoming Convention 2019 themed “Diaspora and the Big Four Agenda,” held at a Nairobi Hotel.

Universal Health Coverage forms one of the Government’s Big Four Agenda, with the aspiration that All Kenyans are able to access essential quality health services without suffering financial hardship; leaving  no one behind.

The CS revealed that among key emerging lessons the pilot program has exposed includes the need to reorient the health systems towards a Primary Health Care Approach, the need for a skilled health workforce and interventions that increase their productivity,  and Community Ownership of the UHC Program to ensure the success of the program. “The interest by the diaspora to participate in the program confirms that community participation in health is the cornerstone of ‘leaving no one behind,’ she noted.

The CS noted that the Government has learned vital lessons from the pilot among them, the role of technology to increase access to service delivery and aid in prompt decision making. “Utilization of these investments can save time and reduce distance travelled to facilities.,” the CS argued.

She said the Ministry of Health and county Governments will make progressive investments towards Human Resources for Health and shall engage  the private sector to complement the initiatives in health service delivery. “Healthcare market is set to grow to USD 65 billion and Kenya is open to private sector investment in healthcare,” she stressed.

Among the possible areas of public private partnerships the CS highlighted, includes collaboration to increase access to health services by leveraging on the use of technology such as provision of telemedicine and medical education through e-learning; investments in the field of diagnostics in particular diagnostics in cancer, Heart disease, interventional radiology and radio-oncology which are essential to Kenya.

 

Others areas of investment the CS mentioned includes domestic manufacturing of medicines and commodities, supply chain and logistic investments, mobile technology, to provide increased access to health services, investments in human Resources by leveraging on innovative medical education interventions in technology to build capacity, data and diseases surveillance through the prediction and response in outbreaks and epidemics, health financing  through the promotion of pre-payment and the provision of complementary health insurance services among others.

 

The CS revealed that Interventions are also underway to strengthen the health Sector through governance reforms that will yield efficiencies. “This reform agenda will include repositioning and transformation of NHIF as a strategic purchaser in the context of UHC and reforms in KEMSA with the aim of improving the access to medicines and health commodities,” she noted

 

She commended the active engagement of the diaspora in the Universal Health Coverage journey. “We look forward to cultivating the ideas and experiences that you have gathered from the diaspora, reaffirming our commitment towards meeting the Universal Health Coverage Agenda and ensuring no Kenyan is left behind,” she said.

 

 

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Ministry of Health,
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Email: ps@health.go.ke