• Universal health coverage was allocated Sh22.324 billion with some Sh18.212 billion having been utilized and Sh4.112 billion yet to be utilized.
• There are 12,318 operational health facilities in the country with the largest proportion of 5,858 (48 per cent) being managed by the Ministry of Health followed by 5,059 (41 per cent) being run as Private for Profit.
Access to health care services in Kenya has improved, a report has said.
The second progress report on the Big 4 agenda released by the Interior ministry however indicates that there are still substantial differences within the counties with an increased per capita outpatient utilisation rate from two visits per person per year in 2019 to 2.3 visits per person per year in 2020 for the first quarter of January to March.
The report said the government is committed to implementing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as one of its “Big Four” aimed at ensuring all individuals and communities in Kenya have access to quality essential health services without suffering from financial hardship.
According to the report, improving access to and use of health services will enable Kenyans to be more productive and active contributors to their families, communities, society at large, and contribute to the country’s economic development.
“The Kenya Country Score for the UHC service coverage index is estimated at 55 per cent according to the UHC Global Monitoring Report 2019,” read part of the report.
The report said so far routine data places Kenya at 67 per cent for UHC service coverage index with the four Pilot counties in the upper quintile.
In the achievement of UHC, the ministry aspired to have a 100 per cent cost subsidy of the essential health package.
As a result, the ministry initiated the process of finalising the NHIF reforms, defined an agreed Kenya’s essential Benefits Package, reviewed the Kenya essential medicine list (KEML) and the Kenya Medical Supplies list (KMSL)).
The report indicated that there has been an increase in the number of health facilities in 14 Counties.
This is through various initiatives by the ministry to increase access to quality health facilities.
“This has been seen by an increased number of health facilities providing Kenya Essential Package for Health (KEPH) services from 41 per cent to 55 per cent and 57 per cent in 2013, 2016, and 2018 respectively,” the report said.
A number of Counties have expanded their health infrastructure, operationalised more health facilities by increasing the number of human resources for health, equipment and expansion of maternity wings.
“Increased access and demand for services, call for deliberate efforts to ensure that the services offered are of high quality. Human Resources for Health (HRH) are key in providing suitable access to healthcare for citizens,” it said.
The Ministry has planned in FY 2019/2020 to invest in the provision of needed human resource and commodities to deliver services at primary care.
Funds allocated to hiring and retaining health workers, prioritising commodity availability, and providing autonomy at health facility and sub-county level to manage resources that were included in the FY 2019/2020 budget.
“The overall goal of the health sector is to provide highest attainable, accessible, affordable and quality health care to all Kenyans as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the UHC roadmap,” the report reads in part.
It further read, “To achieve this goal, the sector requires adequate, well trained, knowledgeable, competent and equitably distributed human resource for health with the right cadre mix and fit for the purposes”.
The report indicated that primary health care is critical to the attainment of UHC and thus a great need to invest specifically at the primary levels including community level workforce.
This quarter the Ministry of Health had planned to recruit 4,000 youth empowerment programme interns through the County Public Service Boards for placement of at Primary Health care facilities and began negotiations with Counties in preparation for the hiring of 5,550 skilled health workers also to be placed at Primary Health Care facilities.
According to the report, there are 12,318 operational health facilities in the country with the largest proportion of 5,858 (48 per cent) being managed by the Ministry of Health followed by 5,059 (41 per cent) being run as Private for Profit.
The remaining Health facilities are managed by Faith-based Health services 1,036 (8%) and Non- governmental organizations 365 (3%).
“Three quarters, an equivalent 76 per cent of these health facilities are Level 2 (Dispensaries/ clinics), 17% are level 3 (Health centres) and the remaining (7%) are Level 4 – 6 (primary, Secondary and tertiary Hospitals).
The Universal health coverage was allocated Sh22.324 billion with some Sh18.212 billion having been utilized and Sh4.112 billion yet to be utilized.