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Survey: Covid regulations saw sharp drop in healthcare utilisation

By Irene Githinji
Friday, September 10th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Covid patient.

Economic Survey 2021 has indicated that Covid-19 containment measures saw a drop in healthcare service utilisation in the country.

Expenditure on health services is, however, expected to grow by 6.5 per cent to Sh113.7 billion in 2020/21 with the ratio of government expenditure on health to total expenditure having stood at 6.2 per cent in 2019/20.

The report estimates that as an emergency response to the pandemic, the national government disbursed Sh7.7 billion to counties for Covid-19 support. 

“National government expenditure on health services rose by 34.5 per cent to Sh103.1 billion in 2019/20, with development expenditure accounting for 41.0 per cent,” the report.

On the other hand, counties expenditure on health services grew by 16.0 per cent to Sh106.7 billion in 2019/20, of which 83.5 per cent was on recurrent expenditure.

Benefits payout

At the same time, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) membership increased by six per cent to about 22 million in 2019/20.

Consequently, NHIF members’ contributions grew by 5.7 per cent to Sh59.5 billion in 2019/20, with the amount of benefits payout increasing by 1.8 per cent to Sh54.4 billion.

During the year under review, the number of health facilities increased from 13,700 in 2019 to 14,600 last year, with hospital beds increasing by 9.6 per cent to 82,091 while hospital cots increased by 7.7 per cent to 8,946.

Majority of these hospital beds and cots, 45 per cent, were in public health facilities.

There was also an increase in the number of deliveries in health facilities by 1.8 per cent to 1.2 million last year, with normal deliveries accounting for 82.8 per cent.

On the other hand, there was a general decline in the uptake of modern contraceptive methods except pills last year.

There was also a decrease in the total number of cases of diseases reported in health facilities by 31.6 per cent to 60 million in 2020.

Diseases of the respiratory system and malaria accounted for 27.6 per cent and 19.1 per cent of the total disease caseload, respectively.

As at December 31, 2020  the number of confirmed Covid-19 positive cases and related deaths were 96,612 and 1,756, respectively.

Irene Githinji

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