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Private sector crucial in the achievement of Universal Healthcare Coverage

The Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Sicily Kariuki says the government recognizes the role of the private sector in healthcare service delivery and their potential in contributing to the attainment of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), thus the need to bring them on board through partnerships and frameworks.

“Indeed the ministry has established both platforms and frameworks through which it engages the private sector for this purpose. One such platform is the Kenya Healthcare Federation,” said Kariuki during the eighth East  Africa Healthcare Federation conference.

She added that both the private and public sector have a role in delivering healthcare services and if they collaborate there will be a win-win result for the two sectors.

Meanwhile, according to a 2018 joint report by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, 10 percent of hospitalized patients can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, compared to seven percent in high income countries.

Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the Sustainable Development Goals report indicates 20,000 patient die every year were due to poor quality of healthcare.

“Strong regulatory frameworks will be required to curb the infiltration of sub-standard health products into the market,” affirmed Kariuki, adding health in the regional context will require strong and coordinated collaboration to tackle cross border transmission of epidemic and emerging infectious diseases.

Additionally, the CS said Kenya has realigned its healthcare system focus towards achieving UHC by the year 2022 and have already piloted UHC in four counties and the lessons learnt from the pilot will be used during the roll out in the remaining 43 counties.

The  World Health Organisation Representative to Kenya, Rudi  Eggers  said the involvement of the private sector in the health sector is crucial and the private sector has supported the achievement of UHC.

“The role of the private sector is additional funding and resources to the health sector,” said Eggers, adding that the broader purpose goes beyond a profit point of view.

The East Africa Healthcare Federation Chairman, Amit Thakker said there is much progress in public-private dialogue and Kenya is doing well in public-private partnership achievement in the health sector.

“We want to make sure that everyone in the East  African Community get access to healthcare,” said Thakker adding, that this cannot be achieved without the help of the leadership in the ministries of health in East   Africa.

Speaking at the conference, Chandaria Industries proprietor, Manu Chandaria said the government should engage the private sector and dialogue for partnership in the healthcare sector.

By  Charles  Kirundi

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