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Kenya calls for innovative health financing to help address emerging challenges

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is rooting for multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral partnerships to help catalyse investments and innovations in the health sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on Thursday during the 17th health sector intergovernmental consultative forum, which was held virtually, the CS said innovative health financing which involves the mixing or blending of two or more sources to fund a program or activity has proved successful across the globe.

“We are now being forced to develop new flexibilities and expand mandates to match the needs of a pandemic. This means that changes on some health policies that have been evolving for several years as well as the development of new ones will have to be accelerated. Doing this will require a paradigm shift in our approach to resolving healthcare challenges in our country.” Observed the CS.

Indeed, our experience with the pandemic has opened our eyes to the fact that a majority of Kenyans are only one illness away from a financial crisis

According to the CS, the most important lesson the country has learnt from the pandemic is the need to articulate what matters most and to prioritize investments.

“Indeed, our experience with the pandemic has opened our eyes to the fact that a majority of Kenyans are only one illness away from a financial crisis. Now that we are increasingly aware of the unpredictable nature of the disease, it is critical that we accelerate the implementation of UHC to ensure that our people are cushioned from financial distress due to medical conditions,” said the CS.

The health CS said the national government has prioritized the Universal Health Coverage with a focus on output financing so as to ensure sustainable financing.

“Health Coverage has become the main focus of the Government, being one of the Big Four Agenda items, we need to ensure access to essential services needed for health and well-being through an explicit essential benefits package for the UHC Scheme beneficiaries,” Said Kagwe.

Bringing both levels of government together to deliberate and find solutions to critical issues affecting the health sector, according to Kagwe, will ensure all Kenyans access the highest standard of health as envisaged in the Constitution.

The cabinet secretary lauded the efforts of Counties in combating the coronavirus pandemic saying the Ministry of Health will continue to work closely with the devolved units and partners to mitigate the spread of the disease.

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