Kitui residents can now breathe a sigh of relief following the rollout of Kitui’s Universal Health Care (UHC) under which over 80,000 households will benefit from the comprehensive medical cover.
The initiative will be implemented in partnership with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) at a cost of Sh. 250 million.
Speaking while launching the program dubbed Kitui Afya Bora Cover at Mutomo stadium in Kitui South, Governor Charity Ngilu regretted the burden of huge hospital bills which have plagued residents for ages.
“Health is expensive and it breaks my heart in this time and age to see families go bankrupt and suffer untold psychological torture due to burdensome hospital bills.
“As I campaigned to be your governor I vowed to ensure that you will never again have to sell off properties or conduct fundraisers to secure treatment for your sick loved ones; today I fulfill that promise,” said the county boss.
She said through the co-pay scheme, each of the targeted households will contribute Sh. 3,000 to complement Sh. 3,000 paid by the county government to enjoy a full-year medical cover.
Governor Ngilu further reiterated her administration’s commitment to ensure all facilities across Kitui remain adequately staffed, equipped and fully stocked with drugs as a prerequisite for the UHC program.
She also thanked members of Kitui County Assembly for their cooperation and support towards making Kitui’s UHC cover a success.
“We highly appreciate our MCAs for approving the required budget because they fathom the suffering borne by locals shouldering hefty medical bills,” said the Governor.
Member households will be able to access a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services in all NHIF accredited healthcare facilities across Kitui, Kenya and even abroad.
Covered residents will enjoy services like maternal care, renal dialysis, cancer treatment, radiology, family planning and all surgical procedures including organ transplants, among others.
On his part, NHIF’s CEO Peter Kamunyo said enrolling for health insurance was the only way to cushion Kenyans from huge hospital bills menace.
“Access to health care is a fundamental right for every citizen but to guarantee financial and social protection the risk of medical costs must be transferred to a third party which in this case is NHIF,” he noted.
Kamunyo vowed that NHIF would henceforth work closely with Ngilu’s government to ensure success and sustainability of the initiative.
By Denson Mututo and Francis Mwendwa