Health sector stakeholders propose additional tax on basic commodities

Written By: Regina Manyara
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Health sector stakeholders propose additional tax on basic commodities
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Stakeholders in the health sector are proposing that the government introduces tax on some basic commodities like soap and cooking oil to be channeled into a kitty for financing Universal Health Care (UHC).

They argue that current budgetary allocations to the health sector are inadequate for effective service delivery under UHC.

The program, aims at the removal of user fees and strengthening of health systems from level 4 and 5 of the health system, with 70% of the funds allocated catering for essential medicine and supplies and 30% going to the facilities as conditional grants for facility improvements.

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However a section of stakeholders feel that budgetary constraints could hamper implementation of the universal health care program.

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They argue that the health sector  is a consuming sector and as such requires to be funded by producing or supplying sectors such as the energy sector or basic commodities like soap and cooking oil for effective service delivery.

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Stakeholders are also calling for a centralized health care system to better coordinate delivery of services across board as opposed to each county overseeing healthcare in their devolved unit.

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The pilot  universal health care program is on course in four counties namely; Nyeri, Kisumu, Machakos and Isiolo focusing on  mental health, emergency response, reproductive health and communicable disease.

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