A healthy population is necessary for the social and economic development of any country. A report by the World Bank shows that 6 % of people in low and middle-income countries fall into poverty due to costly healthcare expenses. As a result, most nations are determined to provide affordable and quality healthcare services to their citizenry.
Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) recently held an economic forum on Kenya’s health sector where important discussions took place. Some of the discussions touched on; the progress made in the healthcare industry, areas for growth, and the private sector’s role in the provision of quality universal healthcare.
Speaking at the forum, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Rashid A. Aman said that the government plans to roll out a prepayment plan for healthcare services as a way of reducing out-of-pocket spending for hospital services.
The Treasury increased allocations to healthcare from KSh62 billion to KSh97 billion in 2018/2019, a 56 percent increase. In the current fiscal year, KSh93 billion has been allocated to the healthcare sector.
The government official acknowledged the role of the financial sector in the provision of universal healthcare.
“Financial sector experts, banks and investors play a key role in the provision of innovative financing solutions that are geared towards pre-payment for health. The government will facilitate an enabling environment through interventions that will manage the cost of healthcare…,” said Dr. Aman.
CBA’s Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Ngunze noted that Universal Health Coverage is important in creating a strong economy.
“Investment in health is not only desirable but also an essential priority for our societies. Health is the greatest social capital a nation can have. Without a healthy, productive citizenship, a country can’t be economically stable,” said Mr. Jeremy Ngunze.
The forum had a panel of experts who gave their views on Kenya’s Health Sector. Members of the panel included Dr. Amit N. Thakker- Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation, and Co-Founder of Avenue Healthcare, Mr. Charles Kariuki – Managing Director AAR Healthcare Kenya, Dr. Njoroge Evanson Kamuri- Current CEO (Ag) Kenyatta National Hospital, and Dr. Michael Maynard – Executive Board Member of Federation of Kenya Pharmaceutical Manufactures.
CBA holds economic forums three times a year where key topics such as manufacturing, tax, agriculture, and housing are discussed.