State, private sector seek middle ground in UHC implementation

Friday, September 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Dr Amit Thakker (left) with Health CS Sicily Kariuki at the 8th East African Healthcare Federation conference in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/George Kebaso


The government and private sector are seeking a middle ground in the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) after the ongoing pilot project painted a grim picture of the services offered. 

With only 44 per cent of Kenyans in the four pilot counties getting access to healthcare services, the government yesterday appealed to the private sector to focus more on high volume service output and low value while seeking to participate in the UHC programme.

However, the private sector is arguing that it is not possible to invest in an area that does not give value for money.

“When I go down to Vihiga, or Nyandarua for instance, to be sustainable, I need to make sure that I get my return.

If I am not going to get my returns what, am I going to do there? Nobody is in the business of becoming bankrupt, but the point is; is there any business in those areas, high volume; is there business in primary healthcare centres?”posed Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) chairman Dr Amit Thakker.

Growing market

He was addressing journalists after the opening session of the 8th East Africa Healthcare Federation Conference 2019 by Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta urged the private sector to leverage on every shilling to achieve UHC.

“Great opportunities exist in the country for Public Private Partnership. The Healthcare market is set to grow to Sh6.5 trillion and Kenya is open to private sector investment in it,” he said in the speech presented by the CS.

Some potential areas of collaboration according to the President, even as the last eight months of the pilot in Nyeri; Isiolo, Machakos and Kisumu highlight key lessons, are in leveraging the use of technology by providing telemedicine and medical education through e-learning.

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