Since its conception in 2004, Kenya Healthcare Federation’s (KHF) network has grown steadily, bringing together a diverse group of private healthcare organisations to network, learn and reason together as a unified voice. This became evident when over 40 healthcare financing champions stepped away from their normal schedule to take part in a groundbreaking topic, “Healthcare Financing and Universal Health Coverage”, on the 23rd of March 2016 at Sankara Hotel Nairobi.
The breakfast meeting which was hosted by Financial Sector Deepening, Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) and Private Sector Partnership for Health (PSP4H) realised fruitful discussions around healthcare financing challenges in Kenya and possible solutions for the same. Dr. Omar H. of Ministry of Health Kenya gave the opening remarks where he briefed everybody of the success of the recent Healthcare financing tour to Japan by Kenya organised by JICA.
During the event, findings from the new FSD financial diaries report, “Struggling to thrive: How Kenya’s low income families (try to) pay for healthcare,“ was released in a presentation by Julie Zollmann. The report which includes recommendations for stakeholders working towards UHC, moved the audience to heated dialogs.
Hot topics on the table were issue surrounding NHIF, role of the private sector in achieving UHC, what and how to fix Public Private Partnership (PPP) and private health insurers greater penetrations to the low income market.
Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation Dr Amit N. Thakker who was also the chief host, coordinated the roundtable discussions which are to be documented as the views of the private sector as an input for the Kenya Health Financing Strategy. Some of the major Healthcare champions who attended were Dr. Amit N. Thakker of KHF, Dr Omar H of MOH, Mr Daniel Mulinge of NHIF, Mr Isaac Nzyoka of UAP Insurance, Dr Njeri Mwaura and Jane Chuma of World Bank Group and Ron Ashkin of PSP4H.
Organizations who participated in the discussions towards the role of the private sector in Kenya’s strategy to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) included Ministry of Health Kenya, NHIF, KHF through its directors, World Bank Group, PSP4H, JICA, UAP Insurance, PS Kenya, Grameen Foundation, GE Healthcare, Mariestopes Kenya, UNICEF, Pharm Access Foundation, KMA, Kabarak University Health store, FSD, Intrahealth International, Madison Insurance, Microensure, KAFP, CFW Clinics, FSDK, and R4D.
From the FSD financial diaries report, “struggling to thrive” it’s evident that Kenya has made great strides in improving key health outcomes for its population, despite this advances the reality is that the direct and indirect cost of healthcare remain an important barrier to access and in turn better health for Kenyans low income groups. The government effort to eliminate user fees have not solved the cost problem since a large number of visits continue to take place at private facilities and stock outrages often force the poor to purchase drugs from private pharmacies.
KHF’s Healthcare financing committee chaired by Isaac Nzyoka’ of UAP Insurance will continuously engage with the government in healthcare financing policy formulation meetings and specifically the Kenya Health Financing Strategy to voice support and concerns and provide alternative solutions from the private sector to issues facing the healthcare financing.
Dr Amit N. Thakker , Chair of the Kenya Healthcare Federation met with Dr Cleopa Mailu, Cabinet Secretary of Health, Kenya on 18th March 2016 at Afya House.
They discussed about how to scale up the model of collaboration between the public and the private sector in health.
Dr Mailu , who also was previously the chair of the Federation , welcomed the PPP engagement which will continue to augment the initiatives that Ministry of Health has already embarked upon.
Dr Thakker , mentioned that KHF will provide the platform where innovative partnerships and ideas can be incubated to improve the overall health in Kenya. He also shared with the CS all the partnership projects in which KHF remains an active player.
They both agreed to continue with the regular Ministerial Stakeholder Forum meetings on-going where priority areas of concern or partnerships will be discussed with the private sector.
Since its conception in 2004, Kenya Healthcare Federation’s (KHF) membership has steadily, bringing together a diverse group of private healthcare organizations to network, learn and reason together as a unified voice. This became evident in an exclusive lunch meeting at the Boma Inn Hotel in Eldoret organized by KHF and Eldoret Hospital on the 4th of March 2016. KHF members present in the Eldoret area and KHF potential members from the region participated in the meeting to welcome the KHF team and to mark the beginning in KHF’s county engagement.
KHF was represented by Dr. Sam Agutu, KHF Director Mrs. Puja Tank, KHF Administrator.
The meeting’s main aim was to introduce KHF to Uasin Gishu County, as well as getting in touch with KHF members in the county and to highlight the major healthcare issues affecting private organizations at the county level.
Dr. Sam Agutu presented the meeting with more information about KHF, KHF’s current membership and the different membership categories, membership benefits and set out the main recent achievements of the Federation. He also pointed out the role of the county chapters and the process of formulating the chapters.
In the county, healthcare demand trends are changing and there is an increased willingness of the growing Kenyan population at county level to pay for better treatment, which has opened doors to the private health sector. At the county the private sector, under stewardship of KHF, has to play a new role in providing improved healthcare at the county level.
KHF will continuously engage with the government in policy formulation meetings to voice support and concerns and provide alternative solutions to issues facing the health sector.