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January 16, 2019

Sh44.6bn set aside for Universal Health Coverage as Big Four takes shape

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects specialised medical equipment at Nyeri County Referral Hospital, 2017. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects specialised medical equipment at Nyeri County Referral Hospital, 2017. /FILE

The Treasury has allocated Sh44.6 billion towards Universal Health Coverage in the financial year 2018/19 as part of Jubilee administrations' Big Four pillars of development.

A chunk of the health budget of Sh13.7 billion will go towards free maternal health care and leasing of medical equipment.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich said the government will roll out UHC to cater for all households in the country by 2022.

This is with a view to guarantee affordable health care and involves the reconfiguring the National Health Insurance Fund and reforming the governance of private insurance companies.

"The president has already launched the secondary school health insurance coverage for all students in a bid to ease the financial burden of their parents," Rotich said.

The national government will launch a pilot NHIF program in four counties namely Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo, and Machakos at Sh2.5 billion.

The pilot projects will deal with the finding out on the capacity of NHIF as well as improve infrastructure before rolling out to all counties.

The Treasury has also allocated Sh2 billion to free primary health care and Sh800 million to Health insurance subsidy program.

"In the view of increased cancer-related deaths early screening and management is imperative we have allocated sh 7billion for the leasing of computed tomographic scanners equipment which will help to diagnose the disease at the early stage," he said.

Further, Rotich set aside Sh400 million for a cancer institute, Sh11.7billion to Kenyatta National Hospital, Sh7.7 billion to Moi Teaching Referral Hospital, Sh2.2 billion in funding for Kenya Medical Research Institute, and Sh4.7 billion for Kenya Medical Training College while Sh2.9 billion was set aside for doctors and clinical officers' internship program.

The CS added that the government will be working with counties towards scaling up the provision of specialised medical equipment as well as increase the number of health centers, including mobile health services.

"We plan to expand the Linda Mama program to mission hospitals and private hospitals and train more doctors and source international specialists to address," Rotich said.

Also read: Mobile money transfer charges to go up as Rotich increases duty to 12%

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