NAIROBI, Kenya June 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Universal Health Coverage program which is one of the pillars of his administration Big Four agenda has been allocated a huge chunk of this year’s 2019/2020 financial year budget compared to the remaining three pillars at a tune of Sh47.8 billion as part of the government’s measures to avail quality health services to Kenyans.
In his presentation before Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich revealed the monies set aside are part of the Sh450.9 billion that the government has set aside to achieve the full realization of the Big Four agenda which also centres on affordable housing, food security and manufacturing.
“A healthy population is key in attaining social economic development,” he said.
According to CS Rotich, some of the specific interventions in the pillar will focus on scaling up universal health coverage to counties, National Insurance Hospital Fund (NHIF) for the elderly and for the severely disabled people.
He said that part of the monies that will go into funding the health initiatives will be generated from the sports and social development fund which he estimated to be close to Sh7.9 billion.
Doctors, clinical officers, nurses and medical students on internship programs who play a very critical role in the service delivery of health services in the country have been allocated Sh2.9 billion which will go into facilitating them to providing quality services to Kenyan patients.
Kenyatta National Hospital has been allocated Sh14.4 billion, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital has been allocated Sh9.2 billion, Sh2.2 billion has been pumped to go to the Kenya Medical Research Institute.
Others are Kenya Medical Training Centres which have been given Sh7.4 billion and Sh1.2 billion for health workers internships program.
The affordable housing pillar which over the recent days has sparked controversy over the government’s move to impose a 1.5 percent levy albeit it being suspended by the courts, was allocated Sh10.5 billion to cater for the construction of affordable housing units in the country.
CS Rotich noted part of the units will go into factoring the demands of the police who have over time lived in deplorable conditions in the country.
Sh2.3 billon has been factored to go into public servants housing mortgage scheme and Sh5 billion will go into the national housing development fund.
The manufacturing sector which has been projected to be key in transforming the country into a middle-income economy has been equally apportioned funds with CS Rotich noting that the government was targeting to revive the country’s textile industry.
He revealed that the government was on course to revive the Rivertex textile industry based in Eldoret with plans being at the final stretch to launch it in the “coming days.”
He pointed out that it’s opening would employ over 3, 000 employees when it becomes fully operational.
Small Medium Enterprises have also been boosted by the injection of Sh1.7 billion that will go into supporting their growth.
On food security, CS Rotich noted that the government had committed to ensure that the strategic food reserves trust fund was well equipped that will aid farmers in accessing inputs in a reformed arrangement.
The national value chain support program has been allocated Sh2 billion with the coffee cherry revolving fund has been given Sh3 billion that will implement and prioritize reforms in the coffee sector.