Analysis of Universal Health Coverage and Equity on Health Care in Kenya

  •  Timothy Chrispinus Okech    
  •  Steve Ltumbesi Lelegwe    


Kenya has made progress towards universal health coverage as evidenced in the various policy initiatives and reforms that have been implemented in the country since independence. The purpose of this analysis was to critically review the various initiatives that the government of Kenya has over the years initiated towards the realization of Universal Health Care (UHC) and how this has impacted on health equity. The paper relied heavly on secondary sources of information although primary data data was collected. Whereas secondary data was largely collected through critical review of policy documents and commissioned studies by the Ministry of Health and development partners, primary data was collected through interviews with various stakeholders involved in UHC including policy makers, implementers, researchers and health service providers. Key findings include commitment towards UHC; minimal solidarity in health care financing; cases of dysfunctionalilty of health care system; minimal opportunities for continuous medical training; quality concerns in terms of stock-outs of drugs and other medical supplies, dilapidated health infrastructure and inadequqte number of health workers. Other findings include governance concerns at NHIF coupled with, high operational costs, low capitation, fraud at facility levels, low pay out ratio, accreditation of facilities, and narrowness of the benefit package, among others. In lieu of these, various recommendations have been suggested. Among these include promotion of solidarty in health care financing that are reliable and economical in collecting; political will to enhance commitment towards devolution of health care, engagement of various stakeholders at both county and national government in fast tracking the enactment of Health Act; investment in health infrastructure and training of human resources; revamping NHIF into a full-fledged social health insurance scheme, and enhancing capacity of NHIF human resources, enhanced awareness amongst members, enhanced benefit package among other recommendations.

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