Kisumu will hire an additional 100 nurses in a drive expected to bolster the piloting of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the county.
County Executive Committee (CEC) member for finance Nerry Achar attributed the move to a surge in the numbers of those seeking services at the public health facilities following the roll out of UHC.
Achar said there has been a 60 per cent rise in the population patronizing the government hospitals with the launch of UHC-also known as Afya Care.
“Afya Care has seen considerable flight of people seeking for affordable health care from neighbouring counties troop to Kisumu,” said Achar, adding that the numbers also comprise locals who previously shunned the public hospitals.
This, he added, has piled pressure on both the existing medical utilities and human resource leading to long queues and slow services, causing disillusionment and nearly putting the government’s affordable health care dream into jeopardy.
The Finance boss opined that a funding provision ought to have been made that ensures that a surge in uptake of UHC is matched by a corresponding expansion in the medical personnel.
However, he assured that the county government was committed to the success of UHC and was taking necessary steps to mitigate the situation including initiating talks with the national government on the possibility of additional funding in efforts to address the challenges.
Achar cited the construction of additional health facilities, modernizing and equipping existing hospitals including the upgrade of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital among the measures taken by the county to keep UHC on course.
The CEC was responding to questions during a live interview at a local radio station on Saturday night.
He denied claims that the recent pay delays only targeted the county’s health workers and insisted that all the county’s employees were affected by the delay caused by late receipt of funding from the Treasury.
He however affirmed that all the county employees including those in the medical fraternity were paid all their dues and arrears by Friday.
By Milton Onyango