President Ruto Reinforces Support for Devolved Healthcare in Kenya

President William Ruto has reiterated the commitment of his government to support the healthcare sector at the devolved level in Kenya. Dr. Ruto praised the exemplary management of the health docket by county governments over the past decade and affirmed that the Kenya Kwanza government would continue its support.

During the launch of the Community Health Programme (CHP) kits, President Ruto assured county governors that his administration, particularly himself, stands firmly behind the counties in the delivery of healthcare. He acknowledged the governors’ accomplishments and stressed that there were no intentions to centralize the health function again.

Ruto flagged off 100,000 basic equipment kits for household health screening, which will be utilized by community health promoters in all 47 counties across the country. Each promoter will be responsible for overseeing at least 100 households.

The President expressed his belief that counties have performed better in delivering healthcare compared to when it was managed at the national level. He emphasized that their responsibility is to provide unwavering support to ensure the success of healthcare delivery.

In a significant move, Ruto announced plans to employ 20,000 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, clinical officers, physiotherapists, and others. This initiative aims to achieve a healthcare worker-to-population ratio of 23 for every 10,000 people, in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.

This declaration by President Ruto comes at a time when tensions have arisen between national and county governments regarding the management of the healthcare system. Disagreements have emerged, particularly in the preparation of NHIF Bills and the administration of the Sh63 billion Managed Equipment Services (MES) project.

Notably, the Council of Governors (CoG) recently voiced concerns, alleging that they were excluded from the development of four crucial NHIF Bills crucial for implementing Universal Health Coverage (UHC). However, Tharaka Nthi Governor Muthomi Njuki and the CoG Health Committee Chair clarified that consultations with governors did take place regarding the NHIF proposed bills.

Anne Waiguru, the Chairperson of the CoG, emphasized that county governments highly value the health docket, with many allocating a minimum of 30 percent of their budgets to its operations.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha acknowledged the pivotal role played by governors in advancing primary healthcare. She commended their collaboration and goodwill in this regard.

Shaheen Nilofer, the Unicef Kenya Representative, praised the initiative of community health promoters, emphasizing its potential to enhance healthcare at the grassroots level.

President William Ruto reaffirmed his government’s strong support for the healthcare sector under the purview of county governments in Kenya. He highlighted the successful management of healthcare at the county level and pledged to provide further support. Additionally, plans to increase the number of healthcare workers and promote community health were unveiled. Despite recent tensions between national and county governments, efforts are being made to ensure effective healthcare delivery across the country.


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