Treasury sets aside Sh1.2b for hiring of health staff

Friday, June 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Mombasa county medics at the Technical University of Mombasa Covid-19 isolation centre, which has 300 beds in preparations to deal with an upsurge of coronavirus cases. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Hilary Mageka and George Kebaso

The National Treasury has set aside Sh1.2 billion for recruitment of health workers for the next one year to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the 2020/21 national budget, the Treasury has also allocated Sh500 million for procurement of 20,000 locally -made beds and bedding to be supplied to public hospitals countrywide.

“This will enhance our Covid-19 response capabilities and strengthen implementation of the universal health coverage programme,” Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said yesterday during presentation of the Budget in Parliament.

“It will ensure more Kenyans are gainfully engaged and support local manufacturing industries,” he added.

On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta in a meeting with governors agreed on a raft of Covid-19 response measures to be put in place ahead of the re-opening of the economy.

Universal health coverage

In his Yatani’s first Budget, Yatani  has however admitted that the Covid-19 pandemic overstretched the country’s health care system with government compelled to put in place extraordinary public health measures to contain spread of the disease.

According to the CS, an additional Sh25 million has been allocated to support establishment of 50 modern walkthrough sanitizers at all border points and main hospitals across the country.

 The CS noted that Uhuru’s administration continues to prioritize healthcare by scaling up universal health coverage to all the Counties.

“To improve health outcomes, I have proposed an allocation of  Sh111.7 billion to the health sector in this budget. Out of this,  Sh50.3 billion is for activities and programmes for the attainment of universal health coverage by the driver and enablers.”

The budget for the health sector also includes Sh19.2 billion to address and lower cases of HIV, Malaria and tuberculosis in the country.

Another Sh6.2 billion has been set aside for the controversial Managed Equipment Services (MES) and Sh5.3 billion to transform the health care systems for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

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