Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) engagement with Healthcare Regulatory Bodies
In Kenya today, it can be overwhelming to know and understand which regulatory body in the health care industry is mandated to regulate specific healthcare cadres and standards. KHF aims to engage and partner with the regulatory bodies to understand their specific roles in order to strengthen the health system by shedding light in the health sector on the specific roles of the regulatory bodies.
Regulation plays a major role in the health care industry and health care insurance coverage. The various regulatory bodies in Kenya protect the public from a number of health risks and provide numerous programs for public health and welfare. Healthcare regulations and standards are necessary to ensure compliance and to provide safe healthcare to every individual who access the system.
Kenya Healthcare Federation met with the Clinical Officers Council of Kenya, on 14th March 2018 at Blue Violet Plaza building on Kindaruma road – Nairobi and Public Health Officers and Technicians Council of Kenya, on 7th March 2018 at Kenya Medical Training College – Nairobi, to introduce the Federation to the two councils and set ground for a strong partnership.
The meeting was led by Faith Muigai – KHF Director, Dr. Amit Thakker – Chairman and Puja Tank – Executive Coordinator. The partnership will see good working relation hence enhance, more job creation by the council moreover, the federation will work with the council through enabling policies that maximize the contribution of the private sector.
Having a strong and effective Public Private Partnership in Health, will spur a higher Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) growth more over in the next phase, also this will ensure that the Human Resource for Health is strengthened.
The meetings were well attended by the Federation’s secretariat and the two council’s official’s.
KHF holds its first 2018 Members Meeting in an Exclusive Lunch Event at Radisson Blu Hotel on 26th January 2018
Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) recently held its first members meeting for the year 2018 on 26th January 2018 at Radisson Blu Hotel Westlands. KHF has in the year 2017 worked with the Healthcare agencies, NGOs, FBOs and Ministry of Health to address quality, affordable and accessible healthcare, in a bid to transform the sector for enhanced efficiency and sustainability. The meeting which was well attended with members, guests and development partners was graced by Dr. Andrew Mulwa Chairman of County Executives Committee (CEC) for Health and Mr. Stephen Macharia, Head of PPP unit in the Ministry of Health.
The meeting was supported by the Multi Stakeholder Partnership Kenya (MSP-K) who shared a presentation on what can Kenya do to meet the growing HRH need with a special focus on specialized health cadres. MSP strives to engage intense advocacy, quality training and deployment of specialized carders. MSP is collaboration between AMREF Health Kenya, Malteser International and Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) established to stimulate the strengthening of health systems services in Kenya through the inclusion of specialized services.
The members meeting was chaired by Dr. Amit N. Thakker and attended by over 70 members and guests, deliberated on various priority areas for the federation for the year 2018. Partnerships with key stakeholders like FBOs, KEPSA, SRT, NGOs, MOH and County Governments is key this year for a productive membership value. Other major activities highlighted included projects, bi-monthly members meetings, annual national and regional and International conferences e.g. The Kenya Medical Association Annual Scientific conference and the EAHF conference, regular healthcare workshops and the KHF Annual General Meeting.
The KHF six committees which has this year attracted massive membership participation presented the below focus areas for this year.
Focusing on its mission “an enabling environment that supports quality affordable healthcare for all” KHF will in 2018 strengthen the health systems through various advocacy channels to deliver better healthcare policies and regulations to its members. KHF is wishing you a healthy month and year ahead as we look forward to more updates in the month of May 2018 with KHF Newsletter.
“Your daily peek behind the health scenes at KHF, with exclusive sustainability news resources, tips and more”
Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) Supply Chain Delegation to COSMOS Pharmaceuticals Limited
KHF supply chain team visited COSMOS Pharmaceuticals Limited on 8th February 2018 towards promoting the newly introduced member integration programme. The high cost of medical care in Kenya is partly due to the high cost of medication which makes up an average of 45% of patients’ hospital bills. COSMOS limited one of the Kenyan local pharmaceutical manufacturers strives to reduce the cost of healthcare and inturn contribute to Universal Healthcare Coverage.
From the presentation by COSMOS limited during the visit indicated that public and private expenditure on imported units once converted to local manufacturing prices, could lead to a potential savings of Ksh. 800 million per year based on the leading molecules, benefiting patients and insurers. Public sector spend 4.5 times more buying expensive medicines, while private sector spend 3.8 times more buying expensive medicines instead of using quality generic brands.
Unregulated trade margins have led to selling of expensive drugs. According to WHO Guideline on country pharmaceutical pricing policies and strategies, countries should consider regulating distribution chain mark-ups for distributors and wholesalers and retail chain mark-ups and fees for pharmacies, dispensing doctors and dispensaries. If mark-ups are regulated, countries should consider using regressive mark-ups (lower mark-up for higher-priced products) rather than fixed percentage markups, given the incentive that the latter provides for higher-priced products to receive a higher net margin.
Remuneration or mark-up regulation if considered can provide incentives for supplying specific medicines (generics, low volume medicines, reimbursable medicines) or to protect specific patients or population groups (e.g., vulnerable groups, remote populations).
One way to improve both availability and accessibility is to produce medicines locally. Which will decrease dependence on foreign suppliers (70% of total consumption) hence provide employment. Local production could also give greater control to Kenyan regulators, which are fighting against low quality drugs, sometimes made in far-off factories that are difficult to monitor.
The delegation witnessed an all-round production facility with five manufacturing blocks with over 180 API and over 6000 SKU’s. The factory which is equipped with marketing & administration offices, also harbor on site finished goods and works in a 24 hour operation. For the tablets manufacturing section, the facility runs 4 Granulation Suites, 6 Compression Rooms, 1 Capsulation Room, 3 Coating Rooms, 6 Blister Packing Lines and 1 Bulk Packing Line. The facility also operates 4 Dry Powder Filling Lines, 2 Ointment & Cream Filling Lines and 2 Liquid Bottle Filling.
With the aims to develop at least 5 highly effective products per year which comply to either British or United States Pharmacopeias, COSMOS practice good manufacturing according to WHO and GMP standards and all formulations are locally developed, following USP and BP. They are accredited manufacturers by USAID and PICS and receive regular PPB inspections leading quality standards roadmap goals. For ARV production COSMOS receive voluntary license from GSK and BI and count with state-of-the-art laboratory with well-trained and qualified staff.
KHF members gracing the delegation included Access Afya, Good Life Pharmacy, Pharm Access Foundation, F&S Scientific, Health Aid Chemist, Karen Hospital and Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK). A token of appreciation from KHF was presented to COSMOS by Dr. Robert Miano of PSK. Dr. Miano also read a speech from the KHF supply chain leadership team, which reiterated the big 4 agenda laid by President Uhuru Kenyatta. In his speech, Dr Louis Machogu pledges PSK’s total alignment of the sectors aspirations and opportunities into the Pharmacy Priority Agenda (PPA) 2018-2010.
Millions of Kenyan citizens still have limited access to quality-assured and affordable medicines to date. Even today, with increasing expansion of NHIF coverage, many people have to pay for their medicines out-of-pocket but lack the necessary financial resources to do so. With the rising burden of NCD and the reduction of donor funding’s, healthcare expenditures will become more expensive for the population, public and private health insurances and the public budget. KHF strives to promote local manufacturing through creating a better policy environment and strengthening public awareness and in turn reduce the cost of healthcare in Kenya.
The 5th Africa Healthcare Summit 2017 in London – Africa’s Largest Healthcare Event in Europe
The Oliver Kinross organized the 5th Africa Healthcare Summit which was held at Olympia London – United Kingdom, from 6th March – 7th March 2018. This business event provides high-level discussion and meetings into the investment opportunities and technology procurement requirements of Africa’s healthcare industry.
The event examined the latest healthcare developments across Africa, assessing current reform measures, and examining the impact of the huge investment boom that is currently forecast in Africa’s healthcare sector.
The event being the largest high level healthcare event in Europe, was well attended by more than 400 global leaders, senior level healthcare professionals, Distributors, Ministries of Health, Hospitals, Healthcare Providers, Solution Providers and decision makers from across Africa and around the world to gather and discuss on various crucial topics of the subject.
The summit held the Africa healthcare awards that recognizes excellence and achievements in the field of Africa Healthcare and dental provision. Moreover, the judges also awarded organizations that have made major contributions to the industry with new international solutions and technologies that have the potential to create innovation and catalyze development in Africa.
Dr. Amit N. Thakker, chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation (AHF) and Kenya Healthcare Federation, received the award on behalf of AHF, for the most outstanding contribution to the African Health Industry.
In his remarks “Exactly 10 years after I founded Avenue Healthcare, I realized that the only way to optimize the role of the private sector is to have an institutionalized mechanism to engage government and promote robust public – private partnership programmes.”
Dr. Amit and Dr. David Parinyetwa, Minister of Health Zimbabwe during the awards.
East Africa Community Holds It’s 1ST Summit on investment in Health Sector
The East Africa Community held the 1st summit on investment on Health Sector in Kampala Uganda on the 21st February 2018, followed by Heads of state retreat on 22nd February 2018, which aimed at accelerating attainment of the objectives of the EAC development strategy, agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals in the infrastructure and health sector.
The Summit discussed the Health Sector Investment Priority Framework (2018 – 2028) that was the product of a process of ministerial consensus. From the summit introduction by ministries of health in east africa countries, The hosting Minister, Hon Sarah Opendi, the State Minister of Health for General Duties, spoke of the importance of collaboration and shared commitments to achieve the ambitious targets in relation to HIV Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the region. There is a historical view of treating health like a social goal, but it is an economic goal and therefore deliberate efforts must be made to improve quality and efficiency under the overarching goal to progressively attain universal health coverage.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health from Kenya, Hon. Sicily K. Kariuki highlighted the government’s commitment to scale up universal health coverage in Kenya during the term of the President (2018 – 2222) and beyond. She highlighted the opportunities in the health sector created by this vision ranging from technology to local manufacturing. The CS reminded attendees about importance of the health sector for the economy. Not only does the health sector affects all sectors by ensuring that there is a healthy workforce, the health sector can also attract local, regional and international investors to Kenya and the region. Hon Patrick Ndimubanzi, the State Minister of Public and Primary Healthcare of Rwanda touched on the importance of quality human resources for health and quality medicines and supply chain. Given the triple burden of diseases, Hon Ndimubanzi stated that the region would have to collaborate with the private sector to attain the region’s goals.
Hon Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children of Tanzania highlighted that maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high in the region. Dr. Riek Gai Kok, the Minister of Health of South Sudan reminded the attendees that South Sudan was a young country which required additional support to be able to attain any of the goals set out in the priority framework.
The EAC Head of States Retreat
The East African Community Heads of State, their Excellences’ President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, President Dr. John Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania, First Vice President Gaston Sindimwo of the Republic of Burundi, Hon. James Musoni and Minister of Infrastructure Republic of Rwanda representing President Paul Kagame held the Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development.
This was the first time, regional health sector priorities were discussed. The Framework is aligned with the E.A Vision 2040, the Sustainable Development Goals and AU 2063 commitments in relation to innovation, medical tourism, job creation, innovation and improved GDP through health investments. Dr. Delanyo Dovlo (World Health Organization) recognized the imminent need for these discussions since the cost of ill health is USD 2.5 trillion in East Africa in terms of loss of productivity. This can be cut by half if the SDGs are met.
Dr Amit N. Thakker (chairman Kenyan Healthcare Federation), addressed the EA Presidents to show areas where private sector investments could accelerate realisation of the priorities. He showed that a mix of infrastructure and workforce investments are required to reach the regional goals. Dr. Thakker stressed that universal health coverage should not be narrowed to insurance as this would exclude opportunities to include innovate medical plans such as risk pooling. A case study of the Health Act 2017 and medical plans in Kenya was used to illustrate what can be implemented to create an enabling environment for private sector engagement.
He recognized the imminent need to deal with beaurocracy to remove impediments to trade. His Excellency, President Museveni acknowledged that private sector involvement is increasingly important as the middle class continues to grow in the region. The Framework discussed and assented at the EAC Health Summit and Head of States Retreat show the political will to include the private sector in efforts to advance the regional health sector. A greater understanding of the priorities set out in the framework will allow Kenya Healthcare Members to align with the regional health policies.
Kenya Healthcare Federation – Information & Communication Technology and Mobile Health Committee (ICT&MH) meets to outline on 2018 key focus areas
Kenya Healthcare Federation – Information & Communication and mobile Health Committee (ICT& MH) held it’s first meeting this year to outline the essential areas to cover in this year 2018. The meeting which was chaired by Mr. Mark Achola.
Regulation of healthcare and ICT is one of the major area that the committee will focus on, to achieve this, the committee will focus on educating stakeholders and create awareness of the existing regulations and share available data, engage the relevant bodies on the lack of clear regulations, Analyze the e-Health Strategy Policy Guidelines by the Ministry of Health ICT unit and Participate in the Health Act 2017 (Research and E-Health) implementation process.
Increasing the access to health using ICT. The committee will achieve this through Sharing basic data and defining data exchange minimums, having Internal data exchange between private stakeholders, Analyzing the existing international data exchange framework which is also in the e-Health policy document and Analyzing the National healthcare strategy (MTP III) and try influence the document in terms of m-Health policies.
Endorsing possible frameworks to use ICT. The committee will look into publishing a private sector ICT analysis document similar to the Insurance report by Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI). AKI is an insurance data sharing platform and has always published an annual report.
The committee further agreed on forming subcommittees to tackle each focus area meticulously. Regulations subcommittee will be headed by Dr. Torooti Mwirigi and will focus on informing the members on regulation aspects of healthcare and ICT.
Access Increase subcommittee will be headed by Serah Mohamed and Joel Lehman and will focus on increasing data sharing between public and private and private and private stakeholders.
Following the workshop held in Naivasha on Implementation of the Health Act 2017 by Ministry of Health and IFC, the ministry of health formed 9 Technical Working Groups (‘TWGs’) where KHF is going to work closely with MOH and has been tasked to nominate representatives from the six committees to sit in the TWGs.
The meeting was well attended by ICT committee members namely, m-health, Carepay, Pharm access, PSK, Infospective, Safaricom, Medic Mobile, e-Medica ltd, MyDawa, m-Health Kenya, Access Afya, EMKF, Velocity PMC, Huawei
This committee noted that there is not much mentioned in the Health Act in terms of Research and E-Health and there is great need to participate in the implementation process to inform the ministry of health. Therefore the following will represent KHF in the Research and E-Heath TWGs in turns.
Torooti Mwirigi – Healthcare Financing, Serah Waithera – Healthcare Financing, Tony Wood – Healthcare Provider, Eric Mbuthia – Healthcare Provider, Hari Murthy – ICT Infrastructure, Adam Lane – ICT Infrastructure, Emily Nyagaki – Advocacy, Wangui Mwangi Violet – Healthcare IT Digitization, Doreen Kudwoli – Community Health Work.
Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) 2018 Strategy meeting
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Kenya Healthcare Federation through its PPP committee and partnership with PS Kenya will this year focus on scaling up suitable PPPs settle upon in 2017 between KHF and the Ministry of Health. Supply Chain towards local manufacturing, healthcare financing towards describe health covers for all and business models for the undeserved towards UHC are the three major PPP areas that the committee through the Health Communication and Marketing Programme (HCM) under the PPP scope of work. This committee plans to engage the national government to have the PPP retreat to implement the above three priority areas.
KHF Public-Private Partnership committee members meeting
Actively engaging the incoming County Executive Committees for Health and Governors to come up with a work plan is key this year. This involves organizing County Stakeholders Forums with the CECs and work on already selected areas of collaboration in the counties. This team will single out a few counties of priority by also considering the ten HIV and Malaria burdened counties.
Working with an indicator matrix to strengthen the capacity of Government to lead, manage and govern health communications and marketing is a major goal with the focus to Zero in the 10 HIV & Malaria USAID priority counties. The committee plan to have a PPP workshop in one of the county major blocks e.g. the Lake Basin area or coastal area. The above items will be achieved though working with various partners to ensure inclusivity towards universal health coverage.
Other focus areas include informing members of various existing funding mechanism e.g. the KCM Global Fund, creating awareness through publication of articles in the Nation Media Group, focus on inclusivity with a common agenda and encourage other KHF members to join the PPP committee and working closely with other committees and align priority issues.
KHF Healthcare financing committee held it’s meeting this year on 22nd February 2018, to deliberate on the healthcare financing areas to focus on this year. The meeting which was chaired by Mr. Isaac Nzioka, singled out Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), payer provider relationship, capacity building, NHIF engagement and engagement with the county health governments on Healthcare Financing structures.
In Kenya, UHC has not been well achieved due to many contributing factors such as; financial instability, poor health infrastructure and low insurance coverage. UHC being one of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big four pillar is therefore, key to this committee this year as it will ensure access to promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services of sufficient quality. UHC will also reduce financial hardship when paying for healthcare services.
The committee saw it fitting to form a UHC subcommittee which will be chaired by Mr. Sereni Vittorio of Johnson & Johnson. The subcommittee will specifically handle the engagement with county health governments on HCF structures, a white paper on “Recommended Model from Private Sector on UHC”, participate in various UHC forums being organized by the CoG and member’s organizations.
Other sub-committees formed during this meeting from the key focus areas are the payer provider relationship sub-committee to be chaired by Ms. Ann Wanja of The Nairobi Hospital and capacity building sub-committee to be chaired by Mr. Isaac Nzyoka of UAP insurance. These sub-committees will put in effort in to develop private health sector models in healthcare financing.
This committee will also send representatives to participate and represent KHF in the Healthcare Financing Technical Working Group, which is one of the 9 Health Act TWGs formed by MOH and World Bank towards the implementation of The Health Act 2017. The meeting was well attended by HFC committee members namely; UAP Insurance, Care Pay, Fountain Healthcare, Minet Kenya, Johnson Johnson, Smart Applications, The Nairobi Hospital, Association of Professional Coders Kenya (APCk) and Emergency Medical Foundation Kenya (EMFK).
Kenya Healthcare Federation – Human Resources for Health Committee held their first meeting this year to outline HRH focus areas for 2018. The meeting which was chaired by Mr. Kennedy Auma touched on the major HRH challenges the committee wishes to tackle throughout the year.
Harmonization and recognition of human resources in Kenya is a strategic area that the committee intends to venture in, in terms of research and possible stakeholder collaboration opportunities. This committee plans to outline clear schemes of services for both standardization and staffing norms.
In light of Kenya’s Vision 2030, this committee seeks to tackle the severe shortage of specialized health workers across the country by tackling on the seventeen specialized healthcare professionals through training, education and labour market absorption. Focus will however be directed towards Emergency Medical Care, Health Record & Information Officers and Community Health Workers as developed from the Multi Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) introductory workshop by KHF held on 26th January 2018. This is because the three do not have strong schemes of service. Focusing on the three selected cadres, the committee agreed on creating a database for schemes of service as well as carry a need assessment analysis to ensure training of fit for purpose healthcare workers.
Training of leaders of professional unions is an important task that the committee will venture in this year. From the discussion, most of the strikes are caused by misunderstandings and if the union leaders are well trained, they will be more diplomatic in their dealings.
The meeting was graced by a presentation on “Introduction to Corvus Workforce Services” by Dr. Kate Tulenko from Corvus Health. Her presentation depicted a labor intensive health sector. “If you get your labor wrong, then you get your budget wrong because HR makes decisions on costs”, she said. Dr Tulenko expressed the difference between a permanent payroll and a contract based healthcare worker towards achieving a work life balance.
The meeting was well attended by HRH members namely: AMREF Healthcare, Corvus Health, Nestle Kenya, AAR, Association of professional Coders, Emergency Medical Kenya Foundation, PS Kenya and Kenya Medical Women Association. There is great opportunity ahead for the HRH sector to successfully strengthen the health workforce through a combination of long-term, strategic decisions and targeted immediate/short term measures, increased health workforce officers, improve HR information systems, and scaled-up education.
KHF team attending the workshop
The Health Act 2017 (the ‘Act’) aims to create a unified health system that aligns with the Constitution, by spearheading regulatory changes and coordinating the interrelationship between the national and county government.
The KHF team represented the private sector at a two-day workshop on the implementation of the Health Act 2017 held in Naivasha on 1-2 February 2018. This brought together a diverse and inclusive group of participants to contribute towards work plans for the operationalization of the Act. Participants included stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Public Service Commission, and the private sector as well as County representatives, regulators, and development partners. The objective was to foster a greater understanding of the Act, encourage dialogue and collaboration and finally, create implementation work-plans on key areas of the Act.
Opening Remarks and Keynote Address
Njeri Mwaura, Senior Health Specialist, IFC/World Bank Group, highlighted that the Act represented a historic moment for Kenya since it tries to bring together all the stakeholders in the health sector and recognized the importance of health for the economy.
Prof. Khama Rogo, Lead Health Specialist, IFC/World Bank Group reminded the attendees that the health sector had been relying on the Public Health Act, which was put together in the 19th century. The professor highlighted that for transformation of the health system to be brought about there was a need for a change in mindsets that accommodated:
- Collaboration between the public and private sector but also collaboration within the public sector itself;
- Recognition of the devolution of health and that ‘our vision of this constitution is that each sector will work only if the center shrinks and the counties expands’
He commended the Act for recognizing the ‘3 Ms’ of health (money, man power and management) that have been problematic and said the Act had the potential to deal with the lack of accountability and lack of efficiency within the sector.
The incoming and outgoing Principal Secretaries, Mr. Peter Tum and Mr. Julius Korir respectively, encouraged the stakeholders present to work effectively towards implementation of the Act. It was recognized that the Act was not perfect but provided a springboard to jump-start the process of transformation.
Overview of the Act
The Head of the Department of Standards, Quality Assurance and Regulation, Dr Annah Wamae OGW described the Act as a ‘mother act’ since it aims to build on and update regulations of the Kenyan health system. She recognized some of the following areas as being particularly significant:
- The right to reproductive health and emergency treatment in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010;
- Creation of a health information system which will require all healthcare providers to report on national indicators;
- The role of the private sector in achieving universal healthcare through public private partnerships;
- Recognition of E-Health as a mode of service and the need to catch up with the private sector in this regard; and
- The development of health financing that ensures appropriate funding for healthcare.
Dr Wamae explained that a steering committee at national level has been established as well as 9 Technical Working Groups (‘TWGs’) as listed below:
- MOH Organizational Structure and Duties of National Government;
- Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority ad Traditional Alternative Medicine
- Kenya Blood Transfusion Service and Organ Transplantation
- Legislation and Regulations
- Kenya Food and Drug Authority
- Promotion and Advancement of Public Health/Lactation Stations
- Research and E-Health
- Health Financing
- Human Resources for Health Advisory Council
The steering committee and TWGs shall start working on a prioritized work plan, oversee implementation and create quarterly progress reports.
Panelists, James Mwenda (AG Legal Counsel), Belinda Kamar (IFC Legal Counsel), John Gichuru (MOH Legal Counsel) and Mary Wangai (MOH) who were involved in bringing the Act to fruition, answered questions on areas of concern in the Act. During the discussion, the panel emphasized that the TWGs would work on further regulations to unpack issues in line with the intention of the Act.
- There was a collective concern over the right to emergency medical care. S. 91(b) of the Act requires both public and private sector healthcare providers to provide emergency care services whether there is a compensation mechanism in place or not. The panel recognized the importance of the provision in relation to the Constitution but conceded that compensation mechanisms need to be operationalized urgently for this provision to work.
- Section 86(2)(f) of the Act states that prices for health products shall ‘correspond’ to KMSA market prices. There was concern as to what the process of price setting will entail and how incentives will be given to the private sector. Regulations shall have to clarify this area in an equitable way.
- Another question on S86 related to what would happen to the IRA if the private sector would have to report to a new finance oversight mechanism. The panel said the TWG would have to consider whether the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) was the best place for private sector regulation of insurance.
- Part VII of the Act calls for the formation of a single regulatory body for health products and technologies. Since this is very broad, one attendee pointed out that this could even include animal health products. The panelists agreed that further legislation would be required to define the scope of the regulatory body. The panel explained that the intention behind the section was to avoid legal cases where regulatory bodies are fighting over the scope of their mandate.
In order to facilitate further dialogue, there were break out sessions where the attendees were divided into the following TWGs to form draft implementation working plans:
- Research and E-Health;
- Promotion and advancement of public and environmental health;
- Health financing;
- Kenya Food and Drug Authority (KFDA);
- Kenya Health Human Resource Advisory Council (KHHRAC);
- Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority (KHPOA); and
- Human Organs and Gametes
This exercise allowed the attending experts to give their perspectives on how to best further implementation. The KHF team split up to ensure that private sector representatives contributed to each of these discussions. The summary below outlines some of the issues that were unpacked during this exercise.
The Health Act 2017 has the potential to build a unified national health system. The retreat marked a stride forward towards appropriate implementation of the Act. The KHF team shall continue to contribute to the process of implementation as representatives of the private sector.
Group Work Summary
|Technical Working Group||Key Points|
|Research and E-Health
|Research: The urgent task is to form the National Health Research Committee as stipulated by the Act and create a health research policy. These foundational steps will allow the Committee to create a research agenda.
E health: Part 15 of the Act stipulates that an E-health Act must be passed within 3 years of the assent of the Health Act. The E-health unit at the MOH will be responsible for this. The TWG recognized that collaboration with the ICT unit would be necessary.
|Promotion and advancement of public and environmental health
|This team recognized that there are a number of policies and bills already in place or being processed that can be relied on for implementation of Part 8.
S 71 and S72 require lactation stations to be established in all work places. Regulations dealing with inspections and specifications need to be drafted to put this into practice.
|Health financing||There is a need for further clarifications through regulations and amendments on the following areas:
|Kenya Food and Drug Authority (KFDA)||It was pointed out that the mandate of food safety is with the MOH. The main challenge relates to how this will be coordinated to ensure the regulations adapt to current systems. The first step would be to finalize the KFDA bill and hold stakeholder and parliamentary consultations|
|Kenya Health Human Resource Advisory Council (KHHRAC)||The first step would be to establish the KHHRAC by choosing nominees in line with the Act, appointing a chairperson and appoint a CEO.|
|Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority (KHPOA) and traditional medicine||It was recognized that the idea of having an oversight authority came from benchmarking South Africa. There is an emphasis on self-regulation with an oversight authority setting minimum standards. The group discussed how gender mainstreaming should be taken into account when choosing representatives.
Traditional medicine: A policy needs to be developed for traditional medicine through stakeholder engagement.
|Human Organs and Gametes
|The team discussed drafting a bill based on key missing parts in the Act:
It was suggested that gametes should not fall in this category because there are distinct complexities that arise when dealing with gametes that should be regulated separately. There were questions as to whether this should be looked at by a new TWG.
The Human Tissue Act Cap 252 would need to be reviewed and used where in line with the Act. There is a working transfusion service but there is a need to set up the same for organs.