Kenya Healthcare Federation holds the first members meeting for the year 2019
Kenya Healthcare Federation held the first members meeting on 28th February 2019 at Movenpick Hotel, Nairobi. The meeting was sponsored by Malaria no More. The theme of the meeting was ‘’End malaria to unleash Kenya’s economic growth’’ according to research and analysis, Malaria was the leading cause of death in the year 2017.The government has since made efforts to bring this under control. During the panel discussion, a major question asked was what is the private sector’s major role in malaria control and elimination . “100% of the supplies are produced from the private sector and a major concentration is on malaria treatment “.Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman Kenya Healthcare federation. Dr. Thakker further informed the attendees that the private sector ensures that there is a malaria treatment are readily available at all facilities. How do we control malaria? by applying preventive and curative measures, carryout community sensitization and create awareness on the spread and prevention of malaria.
During the members meeting, a major focus was paid to the 10th ministerial stakeholder forum and the inauguration of the NHIF reforms expert panel. Dr. Thakker updated the attendees that the Independent Panel of Experts will be required to skilfully develop an action plan that will see the transformation of NHIF into a strategic purchaser of health services, in the context of UHC. Inadditional, the KHF chair, reiterated Hon Sicily Kariuki’s stand on the continuously engagement between and the ministry of health to keep the public informed. The Panel of experts will focus primarily on; Legal and Regulatory Reforms towards transforming the NHIF to be a strategic purchaser of health services, in the context of UHC, Organisational and Business process Re-engineering reforms towards repositioning NHIF as a National social Health Insurance provider,Fiscal and Social Accountability -Strengthening Financial and Social Accountability and Financial Sustainability-which will include the analysis of the sustainability of the NHIF under different financial and service coverage scenarios.
During the 10th Multistakeholder Forum, the CS reiterated that the ministry will continue working together with the private sector, especially in strategizing towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage. She however, challenged the private sector to ensure more discussed action points are implemented with time sensitivity. Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman Kenya Healthcare Federation, congratulated the CS for inaugurating the NHIF reforms expert panel. He however, applauded her for the
the steps she has taken towards the reforms. He however promised the CS that the private sector will be working with the pilot counties on three key areas; supply chain, to make sure the medicines are available, affordable and of good quality, both locally produced and imported, Healthcare Financing, the expanded private sector insurance coverage and those in the counties will allow UHC in this counties to provide more coverage and better care and referral systems, he informed the ministry that KHF is ready to support the county referral instead of having many referral cases taken to Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi and Teaching referral hospital. Dr. Thakker and the entire KHF fraternity congratulates one of the directors, Ms. Joyce Wanderi, who was appointed into the expert panel, by the Cabinet Secretary.
The ICT and Mobile health committee takes lead in establishing healthcare coding systems
The ICT Committee held it’s first quarterly meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation offices (KHF) on 24th January 2019 to outline the focus areas for 2019. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Torooti Mwirigi (Carepay Limited). The focus areas outlined included: data exchange, data regulation and governance, active participation in the Health Act 2017 technical working groups (TWGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) committees at the Ministry of Health (MOH), and, partnerships. Mr. Joel Lehman (Infospective) updated the group that at the last Ministerial Stakeholder Forum (MSF) it was agreed that standardization of coding of persons, facilities, practitioners, procedures and diagnoses was a priority in the health sector. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), with the help of consultant Prof. Francis Ndemo of the University of Nairobi and chair of PPB Practice Committee will take a lead in introducing standard codes for pharmaceuticals. The recommendation of Pharmaeutical Society of Kenya (PSK) and KHF, is to use the globally used ATC codes with a suffix unique to the specific brand registered in Kenya. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) will take the lead in adoption of standard codes for procedures and diagnoses.
The data – exchange sub-committee was mandated to structure a framework for a data exchange. The sub-committee agreed that key considerations for this framework include standard codes e.g. ICD10, ACT, CPT, RADLEX etc., health information exchange standards e.g. HL7, clinical pathways and formularies. To achieve this, stakeholder mapping is necessary to pick up on best practice. Establishment of a good relationship between the subcommittee and the Nursing Council of Kenya, the Kenya Medical Laboratory and Technician Board and, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board is also necessary to give an opportunity for supporting these boards on the best coding systems considering global best practices.
After the framework is created it will be floated to KHF member for endorsement, a milestone to be achieved by mid-2019. Similarly, ICT and mobile health committee will make policy proposals on data governance and regulation and present to KHF membership for endorsement. KHF will advocate the adoption of these policy proposals by government.
Kenya Healthcare Students Summit
Kenya Healthcare Students summit (KEHSS) held it’s annual conference themed “Towards a Multidisciplinary Approach for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya and Africa” on 8 – 9 February 2019 at United States International University, Nairobi. The Kenya Healthcare Students Summit is a conference that brings together healthcare students and interested professionals from all over Africa. The conference aims at building capacity of Kenyan and African healthcare students on matters pertaining to UHC as well as equip them with the necessary soft skills needed in their future profession as healthcare practitioners.
In his opening remarks Dr. Githinji Gitahi, CEO Amref Health Africa and UHC 2030 co-chair emphasized that UHC is a social justice concept, a philosophy founded on equity where everyone receives quality healthcare. The panel was focusing on “What it takes to be the correct health worker for UHC” and Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) was well represented therein. Dr. Robert Nyarango, CEO, Gertrudes Children’s Hospital responding to the question on why medical professional graduates find themselves unemployed, emphasized that healthcare organizations are looking for human resource that is highly skilled, visionary, emotionally intelligent and with a focus on problem solving.
Dr. Daniella Munene, CEO, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, addressing the pharmacy students encouraged them to establish a relationship with patients during their practice and ask the right questions to enhance compliance with medications. She further added that every encounter with a patient is an opportunity to educate them about their right to the highest attainable standards of healthcare, as an informed public will be the driver for UHC. Professor Gilbert Kokwaro, Strathmore University, encouraged the students to be open-minded big picture oriented. “Identify the areas that have leadership gaps and work on adding value to them”. He indicated that teaching institutions need to train job creators and leaders not job seekers,.” Professor Njeri Wamae, USIU Africa, encouraged lecturers to train youths that are fit for purpose, keeping in mind that the vision of UHC is ensuring that no one is left behind. “Think of what is needed in healthcare today and in the future” Professor Njeri Wamae, United States International University(USIU)Africa.
Sharing experience in healthcare leadership, Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu, President, Kenya Medical Association highlighted that the lag in prioritizing healthcare stems from being too inward facing in health practice. She encouraged the student to explore other value adding skills like management and leadership to enable them effectively articulate the needs of the health sector. “Through knowledge and skills acquired while pursuing my MBA, I learned how to articulate healthcare needs in a language that the economist can understand” she continued. Dr. Kitulu further encouraged the students to join professional associations for mentorship, which she explained is one sure way of leapfrogging young professionals to effective leadership.Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman, KHF, encouraged the students to identify mentors in their area of passion and interest, who can walk with them towards pursuing their career. In addition, he encouraged the students to focus on being job creators and not job seekers. The healthcare students summit was a success and the students expressed their gratitude to the panelists for the impactful session.
What is the true cost of Healthcare? and what does it entail?
Amref Health Africa in partnership with Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) held a forum on cost of healthcare on 12th February 2019, at Sarova Pan-Afric Hotel. In order to unpack the areas where costs lie in healthcare, the following guiding questions were asked: What is the true cost of care? How can healthcare be made affordable to all? The forum was well attended by the private sector, civil society organizations, health regulatory bodies, insurance providers and representatives from the Ministry of Health. In his opening remarks, Dr. Amit N. Thakker, chairman, KHF, emphasized on the need for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and its linkage to preventing catastrophic health expenses leading Kenyans into poverty. He encouraged frank and open dialogue on: commercialisation of medicine, remuneration of human resources for health, understanding public perceptions of cost in the private sector, specifically, the perception of providers (doctors and facilities), insurers and manufacturers and governance of practice.
Mr. Nathaniel Otoo, Executive Director, Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Centre (SPARC) reiterated that achieving UHC calls for the right capacity and collaboration between public and private sector to fill in the gaps. He took the forum through the Ghana UHC journey focusing on financing strategies. Ghana moved from passive to strategic purchasing with monitoring of quality, performance, and pricing. The National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana moved from a price taker to a price setter. Along their journey they noted that private sector is not always a marker of efficiency. Mr. Otoo offered to support KHF in its move to tackle the cost of healthcare through capacity building in strategic purchasing, and improving of efficiency and quality of services.
The panel discussions revolved around fraud, supply chain, human resources for health and lack of robust health information systems. As a summary of the meeting, the following priority focus areas were outlined: supply chain management – regulation, distribution, purchasing, prescription; local manufacturing of key products, methods to determine true cost of healthcare at provider, distributor, manufacturing and payer levels; operational efficiencies – equipment sharing, centralised ambulance services, utility costs, models of healthcare worker remuneration; enforcement of professional standards; governance including guidelines or protocols on management of costs; self regulation; patient behaviour change and right of choice; data generation, analysis, and governance; and finally healthcare financing including increasing the risk pool which calls innovative insurance models and social health insurance to capture a larger population, and incorporation of the prevention aspects of healthcare into our current insurance models
10TH Ministerial Stakeholder Forum
The 10th Ministerial Stakeholder Forum took place on 26th February 2019 at the PanAfric Hotel, Nairobi. The Cabinet Secretary Health Hon. Sicily Kariuki chaired the meeting with the Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation, Dr. Amit N. Thakker as the co-chair. The forum took place immediately after Hon. Sicily Kariuki inaugurated the NHIF Reforms Expert Panel. In her opening remarks, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) welcomed the attendees emphasizing that the government still holds the vision of a more efficient, socially accountable and a transparent NHIF. The CS said, “As you are all aware, to kick-start the Universal Health Coverage Program, the President launched the UHC Pilot Programs on 13th December, 2018. Further to the pilot program and as part of the UHC agenda, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta directed the strengthening and reform of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).”
The CS informed the attendees that through intensive stakeholder engagement and expert review, the independent panel of experts would be required to develop an action plan for the key objectives of the panel. The panel of experts will focus on legal and regulatory reforms towards transforming NHIF to be a strategic purchaser of health services in the context of UHC, organisational and business process re-engineering reforms aiming at repositioning NHIF as a national social health insurance provider and strengthening fiscal and social accountability and sustainability. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will continuously engage the media to keep stakeholders updated. During the forum, the CS reiterated that MOH would continue working together with the private sector especially in strategizing towards achieving the UHC. She challenged the private sector to ensure implementation of action points discussed while being sensitive to timelines.
Dr. Amit N. Thakker congratulated the CS for inaugurating the NHIF Reforms Expert Panel noting the steps the MOH is taking toward reforms under the leadership of the CS. The KHF Chairman said, “The steps you have taken shows the public that you are serious about reforms. The 90 days timeline [for recommendations from the NHIF Reforms Expert Panel] will give good time to NHIF to make progress towards taking it the next level. It’s also great to hear that the same reforms process will be done for KEMSA”. Dr. Thakker advised the CS that the private sector would continue working with the pilot counties on three key focus areas. The first is the supply chain of medicines and non-medical health commodities where private sector will collaborate in ensuring that the supplies are available, affordable and of good quality. The products will include both locally produced and imported products. Secondly, the private sector will support in healthcare financing by expanding private medical insurance coverage to the pilot counties to complement UHC thereby enabling provision of wider coverage and higher quality of care. Lastly, on the matter of strengthening local referral systems, he informed the ministry that the private sector could help build local clinical capacity in the county referral hospitals effectively reducing the cases referred to Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi and Teaching Referral Hospital and other national referral hospitals. The KHF Chairman, Dr. Thakker, and the entire KHF fraternity congratulates our KHF director, Ms. Joyce Wanderi on her appointment into the NHIF Reforms Expert Panel by the Cabinet Secretary Health Hon. Sicily Kariuki.