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Governors decry non-inclusion in Social Health Authority transition committee

The Council of Governors (CoG) have voiced their displeasure in their non-inclusion in the Social Health Authority transion committee.

The CoG says that despite their numerous calls on the Ministry of Health to include their representative, now that health is largely devolved, the National Government has opted to ignore their calls and focus.

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Consequently, governors want a framework on how monies owed to counties by the now defunct NHIF will be paid as it emerges that 9 counties have received a paltry 10pc of what they are owed.

Council of Governors Health Committee Chairperson Muthomi Njuki, who is also Tharaka Nithi governor, says the council is completely in the dark over the ongoing conversation to move from NHIF to SHA despite counties being the stakeholders of the health docket.

The governor who spoke during a meeting with AMREF where the CoG is seeking specialized training for medical staff in counties, insisted on the involvement of counties, accusing the ministry of health of cherry picking whom they wanted to sit in the committee.

On 25th January 2024, CS Susan Nakhumicha appointed 9 members to the Social Health Authority transition despite the CoG voicing their non – inclusion.

Moreso so, there are fears that recommendations from the counties will take a back seat, considering that County Executive Committee Members of health were not consulted on the way forward.

“We have pending bills and nobody wants to take responsibility.” Said Muthomi Njuki, Health Committee Chairperson.

The ongoing tussle between the two levels of government has seen the National Government bypass the CoG pay Community Health Promoters directly, despite there being an agreement that the monies should be forwarded to counties as a conditional grant.

Just Tuesday in Naivasha, governors rejected a proposal by treasury allocating counties kes. 391 billion yet they had asked for kes. 425 billion.

The ongoing reforms at the National Health Insurance Fund have also stalled service delivery with patients now being turned away as the transition kicks in. The CoG is thoroughly concerned.

“NHIF is not working and patients cannot wait.” Noted Muthomi.

The governors also want donors to engage the CoG directly, and abandon the National Government route.

Currently, donor programmes are domiciled in the office of the deputy president.

“The ministry is bureaucratic and sometimes money is late or comes when the project is done.” Said Muthomi.

AMREF has also called for a close collaboration in the implementation of universal health coverage.

Githinji Gitahi, CEO – AMREF Group said, “We will support Primary health.”





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