The Cabinet Secretary for Health Nakhumicha S Wafula has disclosed that Universal Health Coverage [UHC] did not succed in the previous regimes because it was not hinged on any policy, legal, institutional and regulatory frameworks meant to develop and implement a conducive legal foundation for implementation of the program.
Speaking on Wednesday on one of the local TV stations,Nakhumicha backed her agenda of coming up with the four health bills saying it constitute a vital component of a broader strategy aimed at advancing UHC, a cornerstone of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) spearheaded by President William Ruto.
“UHC failed in the previous two attempts because it was not hinged on any law that is why we have come up with the four bills.The other big reason why it did not materialize is many people got registered but they went all swamped to the high level of services therefore exhausting all the cover” she said.
The Bill consists of four components: the Primary Health Care Bill, 2023; Digital Health Bill, 2023; Facility Improvement Financing Bill, 2023; and Social Health Insurance Bill, 2023. These bills primarily mandate every employee to contribute 2.75 per cent of their gross pay to fund healthcare.
The government has been making several modifications to the Bill in an effort to align it with the needs and aspirations of various segments of the population ahead of its presentation in Parliament on Thursday.
“UHC will ensure all Kenyans access health care affordably without suffering any financial loss based on primary health care through focusing on preventing diseases,promoting wellness and providing rehabilitative services.The current health system in Kenya is focused on curative services where people want to seek services at the highest level leaving those at the lower level so we want to have a total paradigm shift on how we deliver health care starting at the base because this is a Bottom-up admnstration.This has informed our recruitment of 100,000 fully equipped and kitted CHPs where each will be in charge of 100 households to reduce the long queus at the advanced facilities like KNH” added Nakhumicha.
According to analysts and medical experts, good health and nutrition boosts the human capacity to be productive and that in turn enhances economic growth and contributes to poverty reduction.
The Constitution, through the chapter on Bill of Rights, puts a heavy responsibility on the health sector to ensure that the right to health is realized.
The provisions of this Bill, especially the right to life and the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including reproductive health and emergency treatment, have also raised the expectations of the citizens regarding healthcare as outlined in the Social Pillar of Kenya’s Vision 2030 to provide equitable, affordable and quality healthcare to all citizens.
World Health Organization defines Universal Health Coverage/Care (UHC) as ‘the ability for persons to receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship’.