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KEPSA demands health policy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 24 – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is appealing to the government to formulate a national health policy that incorporates all terminal diseases.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV and Tuberculosis on Thursday, KEPSA Chairman Patrick Obath said the disjointed nature of dealing with chronic ailments was causing mayhem for employers.

Mr Obath said many employers had no choice but to sack many workers who were deemed unproductive by the amount of time taken off work.

“The corporate sector does not want to take care of situations in piecemeal; we would like an overall program that responds to health in total”, he told the participants of the forum who included government officials.

He challenged both the government and private sector organisations to come to a consensus on defining healthcare management.

“We need to match the approaches that we have so we match expectations and show where opportunities are being lost and how we can put them together.”

Mr Obath further said it was necessary to focus on prevention measures rather than curative; to attract more investment from the private sector, which he says would also benefit their employees when considering the bottom-line of the company.  

“Prevention is where you move from corporate social responsibility to corporate social investment where you say the opportunity cost of this disease is this much and if invested it will remove a huge hit from my bottom-line.”

He said it is easier to integrate prevention schemes into one investment to be used by employees, which is more cost effective.

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He indicated there were immense opportunities for private-public partnership especially in setting up hospitals.

“You can look at instances where the cost of prevention is much cheaper than that of responding to ailments over and over.”

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