Murang’a Governor Dr. Irungu Kang’ata has promised to enlist all local homesteads with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Kang’ata observed that the county has more than 300, 000 homesteads but only about 40, 000 families are members of the NHIF.
“It’s unfortunate that Murang’a County with a population of more than a million people has less than 50 per cent of them under NHIF cover, yet there are challenges faced by families when they need to meet their medical expenses,” asserted the governor.
He remarked that enlisting the locals with NHIF will greatly reduce anxiety over treatment expenses, which has been a big burden to section of residents.
Kang’ata said he will work with the County Assembly to formulate a policy to help set aside funds to register those who are not yet members with the NHIF.
“This move will help our people to get treatment under the insurance fund. It helps to minimize fundraising when one incurs huge medical bills,” he added during his speech after he was sworn-in as second governor of Murang’a.
He continued, “The money which will be paid to NHIF will still come back to our county as the incurred medical expenses by our hospital will be paid by the same NHIF.”
Health, Kang’ata added, is one of key responsibilities of the devolved administration saying under his leadership the sector will be given much needed priority.
He took a swipe at the outgoing administration for what he termed as negligence of the health sector saying most of the times the public hospitals lacked drugs forcing the sick to buy prescribed medicine from private chemists.
“Proper management of our health facilities will reduce suffering of our people as the residents will be able to access drugs and better treatment in our hospitals,” he further noted.
Murang’a County has one Level-5 hospital and three sub county hospitals including Muriranjas, Maragua rural and Kangema.
Kang’ata highlighted plans to establish another Level-5 hospital in Murang’a South to cater for sub counties of Maragua, Kandara, Gatanga and Ithanga.
“We will also strive to complete hospitals under construction including that of Kigumo, Kirwara and several health centres,” he added.
He called upon those elected as Members of County assembly to have a cordial relationship with the county executive so as to ensure the devolved unit delivers better services to the local.
Kang’ata takes over from Mwangi wa Iria who served as Murang’a governor for two terms from 2013.
By Bernard Munyao