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Kenya Commits to Strengthen Domestic Health Financing at High-Level Dialogue

Nairobi, Kenya -- The Government of Kenya has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through improved health financing. The country's position was outlined at the National High-Level Dialogue on Domestic Resource Mobilization for Sustainable Health Financing towards UHC, which concluded
. The event brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, representatives from international organizations, and experts in the health sector.
Dr. Elizabeth Wangia, Acting Director of Health Financing at the Ministry of Health, read the Government of Kenya's Country Position Statement, highlighting the importance of health financing in realizing the vision of UHC. The statement acknowledged the need to accelerate progress towards sustainable domestic financing and contribute to the African Leadership Meeting (ALM) commitments.
During the dialogue, participants engaged in constructive discussions, assessing existing health financing strategies, identifying challenges, and building consensus on reform priorities. As a result, the Government of Kenya announced several key initiatives to strengthen health financing, aligned with the ALM commitments.
Firstly, there will be an increased domestic investment in health through various means such as tax revenues, social health insurance, and private investment. The government aims to progressively increase the total government expenditure on health as a proportion of GDP to 5%, with a target allocation of 15% of the national budget to health by 2030. Additionally, county budgets for health will experience a gradual increase to reach at least 35% by 2030.
To improve the coherence of health investment, the government plans to enhance coordination among development partners, private sector actors, civil society organizations, and citizen representatives. This will involve effective frameworks for coordination, strengthened devolution structures, and a whole-of-government approach to leverage resources and address social determinants of health.
Efforts will be made to enhance national health financing systems, including reducing fragmentation, strengthening procurement and purchasing, and improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency. The government aims to strengthen public financial management, enhance pooling of health sector revenues, and accelerate the implementation of strategic purchasing. Digitization across all health sector building blocks will be prioritized to improve efficiency, accountability, and transparency.
Equity in health financing and financial protection are crucial aspects of Kenya's strategy. The government plans to shift towards needs-based resource allocation, continue the implementation of mandatory social health insurance, and provide subsidies to those unable to afford premiums. The essential health benefit package will be regularly reviewed, considering equity, disease burden, and financial protection considerations.
Moreover, the Government of Kenya intends to better engage the private sector to strengthen public health systems and expand access to health services. Creating an enabling environment for increased private sector investment in the health sector will be a priority.
The mechanisms and timelines for implementing these initiatives will be outlined in a post-dialogue report, which will serve as a roadmap for the immediate, short, and long-term implementation of key health financing initiatives towards achieving UHC. The Government of Kenya also committed to participating in the African Union's Ministerial Meetings on Health and Finance every two years to discuss the progress of health financing reforms and review benchmarks.
Dr. Suleiman Matendechero, NDC Ag. Deputy Director General, State Department for Public Health & Professional Standards, delivered the closing remarks, expressing the unanimous agreement of all stakeholders on the importance of the initiatives outlined in the country's position statement. He emphasized the government's dedication to achieving UHC and ensuring accessible and affordable healthcare for all Kenyans.
The National High-Level Dialogue on Health Financing marked a significant step forward for Kenya in its pursuit of UHC. The commitment to strengthening domestic health financing and the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders highlight the country's determination to improve healthcare outcomes and provide quality health services to its citizens.