OPINIONPeople Daily

UHC to make Kenya a global player in healthcare

During the 58th World Health Assembly of 2005, World Health Organisation (WHO) member states committed to provide affordable universal coverage and access for all citizens on the basis of equity and solidarity.

Kenya, as a member state of the United Nations has taken the lead in the region to initiate the drive for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Well-functioning and inclusive health systems contribute to social cohesion, equity and stability.

This compliments the new Human Security paradigm as underscored in the United Nations Development Program Report 1994 where Health Security is prioritised as a key security feature.

The opposite is true. Catastrophic health expenditures can drive families and communities into poverty due to lack of sustainable social security.

Among many policy options, UHC is one of the most powerful social equalisers. UHC is one of the pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s “Big Four Agenda”.

For Kenya to achieve UHC pledge and tap the health market beyond Kenyan boundaries, the need for high-quality health infrastructure for health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation and financial risk protection cannot be gainsaid.

With the roll out of UHC programme, Kenya is presented with an opportunity to build goodwill and improve her global standing.

Revolutionalise healthcare

If well implemented and managed, the Managed Equipment Services, the national Hospital Insurance Fund, Dialysis, MRI, Intensive Care Unit facilities and Computed Tomography (CT Scan) are bound to revolutionalise healthcare in the country.

Accurate diagnosis is the first step in developing an individualized treatment plan. Diagnosis of medical conditions is guided by laboratories tests and imaging, and from the current global developments, CT-scan images are classified as basic diagnostic equipment.

The purpose UHC is to improve access and availability of quality health services.  Currently, many Kenyans are seeking specialised medical treatment abroad.

Addressing the issue of medical tourism will not only save Kenyans the financial burden that comes with it but also ensure the same services are available locally. — The Writer is a reporter with People Daily and a student of Masters in Diplomacy, University of Nairobi

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