Kenya to roll out Universal Healthcare Coverage countrywide

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The Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) programme championed by the national government is finally ready for a rollout in the 47 devolved units.

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe said the UHC rollout will finally ease access to health services for millions of Kenyans.

UHC is one of the “Big Four” strategic pillars declared by President Uhuru Kenyatta, which will see major policy and administrative reforms in the medical sector, to ensure everyone has access to quality and affordable medical coverage by 2022.

Speaking in Mombasa on Sunday Kagwe said the president will officially launch the programme on Monday at the Port Reitz sub-county hospital in the seaside city.

Kagwe inspected the Port Reitz sub-county hospital ahead of the presidential function accompanied by Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata and Mombasa County Commissioner Lucas Katee.

The Health CS said the government will now be scaling up universal health coverage based on the experiences from the pilot phase of the programme in four counties.

He said the government will now shift focus on further reforming the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), establishing a mandatory universal health coverage scheme, adopting an essential package of health services, and providing health coverage for an initial 1 million low-income households to be biometrically registered.

Kagwe said going forward primary care facilities in rural areas will no longer suffer from shortages of staff, essential drugs, and basic medical equipment with the operationalization of the UHC.

The CS noted that the government is committed to providing UHC under the ‘Big Four Agenda’ as part of its socio-economic transformation by providing equitable, affordable and quality healthcare of the highest standard to all Kenyans.

The national government is championing the big four agenda of food security and nutrition, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing.

“The implementation of universal health coverage as one of the big four agenda will, in the long run, ensure that all individuals and communities have access to quality essential health services without suffering from financial hardships,” said Kagwe.

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