Ruto pledges incentives for healthcare investors


President William Ruto shares a light moment with a patient, Caroline Kariuki during the official opening of the AAR Hospital along Kiambu Road in Nairobi on February 15, 2023. PHOTO | PCS

President William Ruto says his administration will seek to attract investors from the private sector to work with the government to actualise universal health coverage (UHC) and cut the cost of medical care.

Speaking at the launch of an AAR hospital on Kiambu road, the Head of State said reforms at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) were underway.

“We are committed to refine and package appropriate incentives and a facilitative policy framework to attract the service providers from the private and religious-based organisations besides the government-owned facilities,” said Dr Ruto on Wednesday.

The World Bank data shows that health expenditure per capita for Kenya was $83.41 in 2019, an increase from $20.52 in 2000.

This figure is expected to have shot up to date due to socio-economic factors such as the high cost of treatment and drugs, the income, age, and education level of households, which is worse experienced by those living below $1 a day.

“A significant policy intervention targeted at lowering the cost of medicines and medical commodities as a component of the cost of healthcare is the government’s endeavour to institute reforms at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency,” said Dr Ruto.

“This will facilitate innovative medical procurement modalities, including the possibility of bulk procurement in conjunction with stakeholders, including the faith-based organisations.”

He said alongside Kemsa reforms would be the State insurer.

“These reforms will be accompanied by complementary reforms to make the National Health Insurance Fund, a strategic purchaser of healthcare services,” he said.

Investors from the private sector were urged to support the government’s push for UHC by supporting local manufacturing of medical supplies.

“Equally significant is the government’s resolute decision to establish local manufacturing capacity for healthcare products, together with the acquisition of the necessary technologies to make sure that Kenya meets a significant proportion of its requirements through local production,” the President added.

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