- 'The arrival of UHC changed the healthcare architecture presented above especially in terms of healthcare financing and with far-reaching consequences'
Governors have accused the national government of poor planning and funding of universal healthcare.
The Council of Governors on Tuesday said county hospitals were too understaffed to serve the surging numbers of patients who want to access free services.
“The arrival of UHC changed the healthcare architecture presented above especially in terms of healthcare financing and with far-reaching consequences,” Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’ said.
He was presenting findings at a summit of the governors and President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House. The summit is made up of governors and the President.
Nyong'o said the national government failed to consider eventualities such as new diseases, epidemics and the growing number of patients to access free healthcare.
He said that the UHC pilot had its own share of unfulfilled promises from the national government leaving counties health facilities overstretched.
“Medical equipment for health system strengthening and community health worker kits have not been delivered to the counties,” Nyong’o said.
He added, “The attendance was erroneously used to model funding requirement which should have been based on the workload.”
They said the declaration of free services reduced fund collections leading to starvation of the facilities of operational funds.
“There was a marked experience of frequent stock-outs in some of the commodities especially laboratory reagents and diagnostic radiology supplies,” Nyong'o said.
“However discharge-in (processing release of inpatients) reduced to almost zero, significantly lowering complaints and a great relief to families. This development, unfortunately, made NHIF unpopular and almost irrelevant.”
While pharmaceuticals availability increased during the pilot, public sector laboratories closed due to rampant stock out of laboratory reagents caused by Kemsa's lack of capacity.
“Through this pilot, we realised that blood transfusion and safety were never considered during the design of the piloted UHC model leading to a severe shortage,” Nyong’o said.
Governors called for mechanisms to ring-fence health funding within the county government.
They want a special purpose account (SPA) opened at the Central Bank for health services funds following an advisory by the World Bank.
edited by peter obuya