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Medical council directed to regulate services in private hospitals

By Irene Githinji
Saturday, February 1st, 2020
Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki with Acting health Director General Wekesa Masasabi. PD/ FILE
In summary
    • Health CS, Sicily Kariuki Friday directed the newly inaugurated Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council to regulate provision of health services from both public and private institutions.

Health CS, Sicily Kariuki Friday directed the newly inaugurated Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council to regulate provision of health services from both public and private institutions.

She said the mandate of the council goes a long way in delivering Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and urged members to work with other regulatory authorities to conduct joint inspections to establish quality of care in all health facilities, with focus on infrastructure, human resource for health and clinical governance.

The CS directed the council to accredit institutions to offer specialised services to mitigate referral of patients abroad, saying about Sh8 billion a year is exported by way of patients going to seek specialised treatment. 

“I direct the council to familiarise with Mwongozo; the code of governance for State Corporations, as a critical building block in entrenching principles of Public Service and best practices in corporate governance…We need to maintain value adding stakeholder relationship and complying with the law is a must,” said the CS, who inaugurated the board at Afya House.

“The Council will from time to time be called upon to fashion new policies and strategies within their space to help in the implementation of UHC,” she added.

Towards implementation of UHC, the CS said the council should ensure that during the six years of training, students will be required to undertake a minimum of 30 weeks of community experience and  implement reviewed Medical and Dental Internship Programme Guidelines to accommodate 364 hours of community experience.

They are also expected to deepen inspection of dental and medical schools.

Joint inspections carried out by health regulatory boards and councils from February to December last year showed that the total number of facilities registered were 11,486 out of which, 7,786 maintained at the same level.

288 facilities were upgraded and another 993 downgraded.

1,269 facilities were closed while the stand alone ones under other regulatory boards and councils were 1,150.

“I want to inform council members that regulation plays a key role in ensuring provision of quality healthcare and will aid in identifying gaps in the health sector as the implementation of UHC takes shape,” said Kariuki.

She also challenged the new council to step up its operations, especially to speedily investigate the pending disciplinary and ethics cases which currently stand at 154.

Dr Eva Njenga will chair the council.

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