• Residents urged to continue observing high levels of hygiene as this had substantially contributed to the reduction of the spread of diseases.
• UHC is among the Big Four agendas President Kenyatta wants to transform Kenya with by 2022, the others being manufacturing, food security and affordable housing.
The Universal Health Coverage programme will be launched afresh to serve Kenyans better, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said.
UHC, whose pilot phase was launched in December 2018 by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is intended to ensure all Kenyans have access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services at minimum financial burden.
Kagwe said the programme will be under the National Hospital Insurance Fund, which will biometrically capture the details of everyone registered.
“We are going to expedite the registration process and I am sure the programme will serve you better,” he said in Nyeri on Friday, noting that a lot had been learnt during the pilot phase.
UHC is one of the Big Four agendas President Kenyatta wants to transform Kenya with by 2022. The others are manufacturing, food security and affordable housing.
The pilot phase covered Machakos, Kisumu, Nyeri and Isiolo counties. The lessons learnt will inform the roll out of UHC in the rest of the country.
Senator Ephraim Maina, who and Governor Mutahi Kahiga were also present, called on the government to extend the UHC expiry date and give people notices to prepare and shift to other medical schemes like NHIF.
Maina said many people have lost jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic and cannot afford other schemes.
He said while Nyeri residents were happy that UHC had catered for their health services, they will be exposed after the expiry of the pilot phase.
Kagwe said the national government will collaborate with the county government to improve health infrastructure to promote health tourism and boost the local economy.
He called on residents to continue observing high levels of hygiene to prevent the spread of Covid-19, noting that this had contributed to the reduction of the spread of other diseases.
“We are going to start a new programme dubbed the 'Cleanest County' where we shall be declaring a cleanliness index and ranking counties according to their cleanliness,” he said.
This will reduce the rate of the spread of diseases and cut health budgets with the money saved used for other projects.
Mid this month, the county government called on residents to renew their NHIF membership to continue enjoying uninterrupted medical services after the expiry of UHC piloting in March.
“Free hospital services in UHC pilot counties ended March 2020. All residents are urged to renew their NHIF to continue receiving uninterrupted care,” the message from the governor's office said.
Kahiga said it will not be possible to sustain the free healthcare services without the same being supplemented by other health insurers.
He said the county's resources were strained by communicable diseases like Covid-19 and non-communicable ones like cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
- mwaniki fm