Tuesday, 07 November 2023 18:17

PRESIDENT RUTO UNVEILS UHC PLAN AMIDST 60TH MASHUJAA DAY FETE IN KERICHO

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The recently launched Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plan, an initiative of the National Government and County Governments, is envisaged to be a progressive, responsive, affordable, accessible and sustainable healthcare system that will accelerate attainment of the highest standard of health to all Kenyans.
H.E President William Ruto on 20th October 2023, officially launched the UHC as he presided over the 60th Mashujaa day celebrations, with Governors also presiding over the launch of the same in their respective Counties.
Themed ‘Universal Health Coverage (UHC)’, the Mashujaa day fete was held in honor of Kenya’s heroes and heroines who fought for independence and the ordinary men and women who have made significant contributions to Kenya’s post-independence development.
This year’s celebrations, held at the Kericho Green Stadium, marked a momentous time in Kenya’s history coming just a day after President William Ruto assented into law 4 crucial Bills aimed at strengthening Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The 4 Bills: Social Health Insurance Bill; Digital Health Bill; Facility Improvement Bill and; Primary Health Care Bill, in conjunction with strategic policies, are expected to usher in a paradigm shift in the legal and institutional framework for healthcare in Kenya.
Delivering his speech President Ruto underscored the pivotal role of UHC in transforming the health sector adding that the government was keen on implementing UHC with a focus on preventive and promotive healthcare.
“At all Level 1, 2, and 3 dispensaries and health centers, every Kenyan will get quality treatment for free. The bill will be covered by the government through the Primary Health Care Fund." This will ensure that no Kenyan, regardless of their background or circumstance, is left behind when it comes to healthcare,” said the President.
The Mashujaa day celebrations were preceded by a 4-day Conference. The weeklong event featured rich discussions on among others, the digital health ecosystem, health commodity security, integrated information systems, Human Resources for Health (HRH), health financing and Primary health care. In addition, there were exhibitions where stakeholders showcased their contributions to the health sector in line with UHC.
Deputy President, H.E Rigathi Gachagua who graced the Conference on 16th October 2023 reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to attaining 15% health financing as per the Abuja declaration further noting that ksh3 billion had been allocated to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for UHC.
Accompanied by a delegation which included the Host Governor H.E. Erick Mutai and CS, Susan Nakhumicha among other dignitaries, the Deputy President visited Kenya's first biosafety molecular laboratory at KEMRI Kericho, Cheborge health center and thereafter, the PCN hub at Kapkatet sub county hospital, one of the sub counties that has fully established PCNs and digitized the process.
Kericho County referral hospital was also elevated to be a Level 5 hospital on basis of the infrastructure upgrade increased workforce and workload of the facility.
Governors in attendance echoed County Governments’ commitment to developing innovative solutions that will ensure the successful implementation of the UHC program.
“Data is pivotal for making informed decisions. With digitization, we will harness data to drive the UHC agenda, integrate health information systems and adopt a paperless system which will ensure seamless delivery of healthcare,” noted the Chair, CoG ICT and Knowledge Management Committee H.E Wisley Rotich.
“Let us embrace constructive dialogue and work together towards bolstering the nation's healthcare workforce and ensuring the delivery of secure and high-quality healthcare services to all its citizens,” added Chair CoG Finance Committee H.E Fernandes Barasa during a session on health financing.
The panel discussions on HRH resulted in the signing of a 17-point commitment termed the Kapkatet Declaration by the National Dialogue on HRH which brings together the CoG, MOH and the Kenya Health Human Resources Advisory Council (KHHRAC). The resolutions are aimed at regulating and streamlining the health workforce for improved delivery of UHC.

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