• Health allocations consistently fall below the promised minimum
• Health budgeting should be a collective responsibility starting at the national government, down to the countie
The Constitution guarantees that every citizen has a right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes including reproductive healthcare services.
The Abuja Declaration of 2001 reserves at least 15 per cent of the annual national budget for the health sector, alongside other international documents such as the Maputo Protocol that calls for enhanced allocations.
However, there is a worrying trend of the health budget allocations consistently falling below the promised minimum over the past, despite devolving health, which is a shared responsibility with the national government.
The shortfalls of the national government and some counties to honour the health allocations through the international protocol documents that we are signatories to deny the common mwananchi the best of healthcare services.
The public continues to bear the heaviest burden of out-of-pocket spending without value for their money, even after being taxed heftily. Without discrimination, each citizen equally has health and life as a right. The notion of leaving quality health services as a preserve of private institutions, which charge astronomical amounts for even basic services, should be challenged by the national government through the facilities that are under its care.
Health budgeting should be a collective responsibility starting at the national government, down to the counties, to civil society organisations as well as the general citizenry through forums such as public participation, which help in keeping the authorities and expenditure in check.
If the health sector in our country was as developed, the rich would not have to worry about flying overseas for “specialised treatment”, leaving the poor at the mercies of the dilapidated health structures. Health would be a commodity that would be equally accessed by all citizens equally.