State must invest in healthcare facilities – report

February 3, 2012 12:44 pm
Doctors attend to patients at KNH/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – A taskforce set up to look into the issue of strengthening health services following the December strike by doctors wants the government to finance a three year health stimulus package to improve the poor state of public health facilities.

The taskforce chaired by the Secretary of Administration at the Ministry of Public Health Kioko Musyimi, recommended that the Treasury should allocate a minimum of Sh217 billion over the next three years to revamp health infrastructure, equipment, human resources and essential medicines and medical supplies.

“This will significantly improve access to quality health care services in the country and also accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals,” the report stated in part.

The taskforce that included members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union and government representatives also wants an allocation of Sh48.7 billion to Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) for procurement of essential medicines which they say would put an end to the perennial shortage.

This, they said, should be through a revolving fund for KEMSA to procure essential medicines and medical supplies.

The taskforce said the implementation should begin immediately with the 2012/2013 budget where they want Sh15.9 billion allocated to KEMSA.

“This will ensure access to the entire Kenya Essential Medicine List, hence optimise patient outcomes and appropriate medicine use especially for the poor and vulnerable patients,” the report stated.

They also want the Treasury to allocate an additional Sh12.5 billion for procurement of equipment in the coming financial year and a further 10 percent for equipment maintenance.

They say the Treasury should also give a two percent annual budgetary increment to the Ministries of Health until the country achieves the Abuja target of 15 percent.

Doctors had in December last year gone on a 10 day strike (See story on the crippling strike) demanding better remuneration and improvement of public health facilities.

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