- •They said their main concern were the Social Health Insurance law and the primary healthcare law.
- •HIV is Kenya’s largest health programme, with an annual bill of Sh83 billion — mostly funded by donors—and 1.3 million people on treatment.
Kenyans living with HIV have written to Health CS Susan Nakhumicha over their exclusion from the team developing regulations for Universal Health Coverage.
This is the second team, after doctors, to question how the four UHC laws are being implemented.
The Kenyans with HIV said they are not represented on teams writing regulations for the Primary Health Care Act, Facility Improvement Financing Act, Digital Health Act and the Social Health Insurance Act.
HIV is Kenya’s largest health programme, with an annual bill of Sh83 billion—mostly funded by donors—and 1.3 million people on treatment.
“The purpose of this letter is to request you and the Ministry of Health leadership, to enable and facilitate the meaningful inclusion and engagement of people living with HIV and those affected by TB through their networks, to be part of the planning and implementation of the laws,” they said in a letter, seen by Star, sent through the National Empowerment Network for People Living with HIV/Aids in Kenya (Nephak).
It is signed by Nephak CEO Nelson Otwoma.
They said their main concern were the Social Health Insurance law and the primary healthcare law.
“In our opinion, the implementation of these laws will help put Kenya on the path to ending Aids in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” they said.
The Primary Healthcare Act aims to strength preventive health services by co-opting the 100,000 community health promoters commissioned by the President recently.
The Social Health Insurance Act abolishes the National Health Insurance Fund and creates three new funds: a Primary Health Care Fund, a Social Health Insurance Fund and a Chronic Illness and Emergency Fund.
This is the second team to question the implementation of the four laws that were signed by President William Ruto on October 19.
Two weeks ago, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union also expressed disappointment that regulations for the new social health insurance fund are already being developed, without the Social Health Authority's Board, as stipulated in the Act.
“The regulations are already being developed without the board being in place and without the input of all parties including the Council of Governors, who are key stakeholders as health function is 90 per cent in the counties. Again, I call upon the governors to smell the coffee. It stinks to the high heavens,” said KMPPDU secretary general Dr Davji Bhimji Atellah.
The Facility Improvement Financing Act will restrict funds raised in public health facilities so that those funds are not put to other uses outside of health.
The Digital Health Act aims to promote telemedicine and digitise health services by ending written transactions.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health did not immediately address the concerns raised saying the CS Nakhumicha is currently abroad in Seoul, South Korea.
Technical health officials from the ministry have met several times to develop regulations to support the four new laws. One official said they expect by mid December, those regulations will have gone through public participation and adopted by Parliament.
The Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH)—Kenya chapter, recently said HIV and TB are key in the implementation of the four health laws.
At a meeting on October 27, in Nairobi, the parliamentarians shared progress on the road to achieving commitments made in February during the NEAPACOH meeting in Kampala.
During the February meeting, Kenya committed to increase her budget for the health sector funding from Sh122 billion to Sh154 billion, institute a Facility Improvement Fund law and provide seed funds for HIV, TB and Reproductive Health products, they said.