Government sets aside Sh41.9b for UHC roll out

Thursday, January 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CS Sicily Kariuki with Narok Governor Samuel Tunai during IPA signing. With them is PS Susan Mochache. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

The government has set aside Sh41.9 billion for the national roll out of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki has said the 47 counties will be covered under the UHC by the end of the month.

“We have so far signed the Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement (IPA) on UHC implementation with 11 counties and the whole country will be covered in the next few days,” she said.

The CS said the budget will help in bridging the gaps in human resource for health, commodities, primary health care services, community health services and service delivery to supplement county investments.

Kariuki added that the budget is expected to significantly increase in subsequent financial years.

On the controversy surrounding National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Kariuki directed the board to iron out the contentious issues through consultation.

She said the fund is an integral part of UHC sustainability hence the board consultation should not lose sight of the government desire to offer quality and affordable health services.

The NHIF 515,000 voluntary contributors a number Kariuki said plays a key role in its sustainability.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the suspension of the new NHIF rules saying they should reviewed.

The upscaling of UHC is ongoing where yesterday, Elgeyo Marakwet, Narok, Kajiado, and Kiambu counties signed the IPA increasing the number to 15. On Monday, Nyandarua, Meru, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Embu, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi signed the IPA.

The agreement which touches on Human resource for health, Kariuki said the national government will deploy 4,000 medical interns to Level 2 and 3 hospitals.

To supplement the same, Kariuki added that counties have agreed to increase their health kitty to 30 per cent of their total budget and those who have reached the limit to progressively increase it.

“Counties through the Council of Governors (CoG) agreed to recruit community health workers and pay a monthly stipend,” she said.

On CoG query over Kenya Medical Supplies Authority capability of delivery drugs to counties, Kariuki assured she has been in constant talks with the management and agreed on need to check the pricing and efficiency. 

Meanwhile, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to reconsider his reshuffle of Kariuki from Health to the Ministry of Water, saying the CS started the UHC journey and currently is in a critical stage of implementation which requires continuity.

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