Dickens Wasonga and Baraka Karama @PeopleDailyKe
The government through the ministry of Health will disburse Sh3.1 billion to the four counties piloting the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme.
It will then be rolled out in the other 43 counties if the trial is successful. While launching the six-month programme in Kisumu yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said cardholders will access free medical services in all public hospitals.
“You will just need to have the card to access quality healthcare services free of charge and this will be for all Kenyans,” he said.
This comes at a time an estimated one million Kenyans have been pushed to extreme poverty by prohibitive healthcare-related costs.
He said the other counties will receive money from the National government towards the purchase of additional medical equipment to strengthen their capacities and prepare them for the rollout of UHC at the end of the pilot phase.
“We will continue to support efforts to strengthen the capacities of our hospitals in preparation of the UHC rollout because the facilities cannot be ready if they lack medical equipment that is critical in the health care delivery chain,’’ said Uhuru.
So far, 240,000 households have already registered for the UHC programme according to Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
“We are lucky to have been picked in the pilot phase given the high number of communicable and non-communicable cases in the region,” he said.