Ruto promises health sector 15 per cent shot in the arm
Deputy President William Ruto says, if elected president, his government would increase budgetary allocations to the country’s health sector from the current four per cent to 15 per cent, as per the African Union’s 2001 Abuja Declaration.
In the Kenya Kwanza Alliance manifesto, Ruto promised to prioritise the employment of 20,000 workers to strengthen primary healthcare, in line with its Afya Bora Mashinani model.
“To ensure accessibly and quality service delivery in health, a number of factors need serious consideration: healthcare leadership and governance; health services delivery; human resources for health (HRH); health financing; commodity supply; health infrastructure; information, communication and technology; and monitoring and evaluation of health services,” reads part of the coalition’s manifesto.
Consequently, Ruto said, his government would focus on the employment of various cadres — including doctors, nurses, lab technologists and clinical officers — to bridge the skills gap. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 23 medics per 10,000 people, he noted.
The manifesto notes that the percentage of health facilities with essential medicines was at 62.3 per cent in 2019/20 against a target of 95 per cent in 2020/21.
“Kenya Kwanza is fully cognisant of the challenges that continue to bedevil the health sector and, through its wide-ranging consultations with the public and key stakeholders, it has come up with recommendations that would see it implement Afya Bora Mashinani — The Kenya Kwanza “Bottom-up” Approach to Health Services,” the manifesto says.
“A universal seamless health insurance system comprising a mandatory national insurance (NHIF) and private insurance as complementary covers, with NHIF as the primary and private firms as the secondary cover,” the manifesto highlights.
The alliance intends to establish a national fund for chronic and catastrophic illnesses, and costs not covered by insurance such as cancer, diabetes, strokes, accident rehabilitation, and pandemics.
This will be funded by a combination of insurance levy and the Government, it states. Other areas of commitment include strengthening Afya Bora Mashinani as a primary healthcare-based approach.
Recently, Ruto promised to institute major changes at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa), accusing it of being a monopoly.