The launch of the pilot Universal Health Care program will see 3.2 million Kenyans in four counties namely Isiolo, Kisumu, Machakos and Nyeri access free health care services.
The program which is a key milestone in achieving UHC will see patients access both inpatient and outpatient services at public hospitals.
The realization of UHC program is steadily gaining momentum with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kisumu County to launch the pilot phase.
In the plan, every Kenyan irrespective of their geographical or socioeconomic status will access quality health services.
The program is aimed at addressing the financial burden that perennially drives some Kenyans to poverty and subsequently slowing down the economy.
The Ksh3.9 billion UHC programme targets four counties, namely Kisumu , Machakos, Isiolo and Nyeri for the pilot phase.
WHO is committed to supporting the country’s UHC describing Kenya as a trailblazer in Africa.
WHO defines universal health care as ensuring all people have access to quality preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitation and palliative health services regardless of their ability to pay.
The four counties were chosen for the pilot phase on need basis.
Machakos county was chosen after research indicated that it was the county most prone to road accidents in Kenya.
During the piloting phase, the UHC package will cater for outpatient care such as consultation, mental illness and emergency health care.
Inpatient care will include medical and surgical services, enhanced maternal and child health services and enhanced HIV, tuberculosis and malaria treatment.
Other public health services such as mosquito nets distribution, door-to-door immunization, public health education, and screening for non-communicable diseases will also be issued.
Lessons learnt from the pilot scheme will be used to roll out the programme throughout the country.
The government has already embarked on increasing enrolment to NHIF to enable access to affordable universal health care.