Murang’a County government is geared towards improving service delivery in the health sector after the local assembly passed health policy 2022-2027.
The policy gives the county administration among others things, a leeway to roll out a programme dubbed Kang’ata Care which targets to put 20, 000 vulnerable households under enhanced NHIF cover.
On Tuesday, Governor Dr Irungu Kang’ata said recruitment of those to benefit in the enhanced NHIF cover is almost through and before Christmas the families will start enjoying improved health care.
After the assembly passed the health policy, Kang’ata added that his administration will allocate Sh. 170 million to the enhanced health cover.
“From the allocated funds which are factored in the supplementary budget, Sh 163 million will be paid to NHIF and the remaining will cater for other administration expenses incurred in operationalization of the programme.
“Vetting of those who will be covered in the scheme is almost through and we have increased the number of those to be recruited from each polling station from 24 to 36 households,” he said after he signed the policy in presence of the assembly speaker, Johnson Mukuha.
Kang’ata said the families seeking to be recruited to the scheme are many, noting that currently the available funds can only cater for 20, 000 households.
In the enhanced NHIF scheme, the beneficiaries will be able to access free inpatient and outpatient services. “They will also benefit with dental and optical services from the local public hospitals. The cover also caters for the last expense of the principal member and a number of relatives,” explained Kang’ata.
The county government had previously signed a memorandum of understanding with the NHIF about the cover but the policy was yet to be passed.
Kang’ata lauded the passing of the document saying apart from giving a leeway to the enhanced NHIF scheme, the policy will revitalize the county health care sector.
“With the policy, the Community Health Volunteer programme has been legalized and soon we will relaunch the programme as we recruit more volunteers to support primary health care,” said the governor.
The Community Health Volunteer programme was established by the former county regime with Kang’ata saying it raised recurring audit queries since it was not anchored in a policy.
Speaking during the same occasion, the county executive member for health Dr. Fredrick Mbugua said the policy will assist the poor, aged and people with non-communicable diseases to get cheap medical care.
Mbugua expressed concerns over increased cases of non-communicable diseases saying they have been a burden to many families.
“As we strive to provide affordable medical care to patients of non-communicable disease we advise the locals to exercise and eat healthy foods to avoid lifetime diseases,” added Mbugua.
By Bernard Munyao