Nairobi — Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday vowed to end KEMSA’s monopoly on medical supplies and introduce a cost-effective stakeholder-run procurement mechanism.
Ruto, while outlining Kenya Kwanza’s manifesto ahead of the August 9 presidential election, said a stakeholder-run system will promote efficiency and eliminate corruption.
“We’re going to establish a stakeholder-managed national procurement scheme for drugs to leverage on bulk purchase and also to bring transparency and accountability in public procurement of drugs to eliminate KEMSA scandals,” Ruto said while alluding to graft allegations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).
The Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate said reforms were necessary to bring down the cost of healthcare.
“We had a meeting with health stakeholders where a single hospital told us they buy drugs cheaper than KEMSA does yet the agency buys in bulk,” he said while rooting for a procurement model akin to the one used by oil markers.
Ruto also committed to remodel the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) by designing a contribution structure were lowest earners contribute Sh300 with the highest contributor paying Sh3,000.
“This structure will fund everybody’s health requirement and there will be no out of pockets payment for health services,” he said.
To ensure efficient NHIF utilization, Ruto said he introduce a health management system to facilitate digitization of health records to ensure ease of access of medical history for patients seeking referral services.
Ruto said his administration will prioritize the hiring on an initial 20,000 health care workers (doctors, nurses, lab technologists, clinical officers, etc.) to bridge the gap as per the WHO recommendations that require 23 healthcare workers per 10,000 people.
He also promised to enhance budgetary allocations for health from 4 per cent to 15 per cent to healthcare reforms.