DISPELL RUMOURS

Clear up scanty UHC details before the national rollout

Kenyans still think UHC is about free services, it is about reducing out-of-pocket spending

In Summary

• President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda have prioritised UHC with the aim of attaining highest standard of health. 

• UHC funded by public spending, insurance by the NHIF and private firms, out-of-pocket spending and donor funding. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the UHC logo during the launch of the pilot programme in Kisumu on December 13 last year
ENGAGE PUBLIC MORE: President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the UHC logo during the launch of the pilot programme in Kisumu on December 13 last year
Image: PSCU

The World Health Organization developed a constitution with a fundamental component of the highest attainable standards of health as a universal human right.

This has been echoed in the Constitution of Kenya, entitling every citizen to the highest attainable standards of health, including reproductive health. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda have prioritised UHC with the aim of attaining this social right.

However, information still remains scanty among the ordinary mwananchi that needs to be addressed. Kenya has a mixed health financing system including public spending, insurance by the NHIF and private firms, out-of-pocket spending and donor funding.

 

The majority of Kenyans bear the brunt of astronomically priced out-of-pocket expenditures, which has been mentioned as a cause of poverty for about 1.5 million Kenyans annually. When UHC was piloted, a large population flocked health facilities for registration with the illusion of ‘free’ health, which is not really the case.

Some Kenyans still believe it is all about having the UHC card alone. UHC is based on three major pillars; equity, quality health services and financial risk protection. Equity is purposed to enable every citizen to access the required health standards without any bias.

The quality health service pillar is a value for health which should improve the wellness of health seekers, and financial risk protection is geared towards minimising any out-of-pocket expenditure to safeguard the financial status of citizens.

The WHO website has structures of countries with successful national health insurance such as Rwanda; ideas that can be borrowed to implement for the best design in our country.

Kisumu