Wednesday, 07 December 2022 13:07

GOVERNORS HEALTH COMMITTEE STEPS UP INTERGOVERNMENTAL ENGAGEMENT ON KEY ISSUES

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The Council of Governors (CoG) Health Committee chaired by H.E. Muthomi Njuki held its inaugural retreat at the Swahili Beach Resort in Kwale County themed ‘Stepping up Stakeholders Engagement for Accelerated Universal Health Coverage. The retreat provided a platform to deliberate on various matters in the health sector. The meeting was attended by the Health Committee Governors, the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health (MoH) Hon. Susan Nakhumicha and other MoH representatives, representatives from the National Assembly and the Senate, development partners and private sector, the chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC), and the Chief Executive Officers of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
At the commencement of the meeting, the committee unanimously elected H.E. Gladys Wanga, Governor of Homa Bay County as its Vice Chair.
During the meeting, the CoG called for collaboration in order to improve service delivery in the health sector, especially at a time when donor support is declining. Speaking during the event, Health Committee Chair H.E. Muthomi Njuki called for deeper collaboration and consultation between the two levels of government and other partners in the sector to ensure that the transition is well managed.
“The new administration has committed to building on the successes and achievements made in the preceding years to deliver on the devolution dream of bringing services closer to the people. We are also aware that we take up the mantle at a time when as a country we are having serious conversations around the sustainability of health financing in light of the declining donor support. County Governments together with the MoH, therefore, need to initiate the processes of managing the transition in specific health system pillars such as Human Resources for Health among others.” Said Governor Muthomi Njuki.
While addressing the meeting, Health CS underscored her commitment to ensure that there is focused consultation between her Ministry and the County Governments and that she will ensure that Counties are supported to implement the devolved health function.
“Working closely with the Council of Governors, I envision us sustaining the gains made, while quickly and amicably resolving pending and emerging issues within the outlaid consultative frameworks, and sometimes, ad hoc interactions,” said CS Susan Nakhumicha.
Among issues that were discussed at length including the management of over 9000 staff, contracted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic under the Universal Health Coverage program, who continue to complement the County health staff but whose contracts come to an end in May 2023.
Governors acknowledge the contribution made by the staff and proposed expediting consultations with the MoH on continuation arrangements, financing arrangements, and attendant terms and conditions.
Other key issues deliberated on included: the prioritization and reorganization of models for Community Health Services for greater responsiveness; streamlining of infrastructural and equipment support programs to according better the assignment of health functions to levels of government; fast-tracking implementation of the NHIF and KEMSA reforms; implementation of health facility improvement funds; and completion of the unbundling, costing and transfer of health functions.
The Chair of the Development Partners for Health in Kenya (DPHK) Mr. John Kuehnle lauded Kenya’s health system terming it a success story. Speaking during the meeting, Mr. Kuenhle pledged the support of the development partners towards further improving service delivery in the Country.

 

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