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.
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.
Ninth Ministerial Stakeholder Forum
The Ministry of Health (MOH) held the ninth ministerial stakeholders forum on 23rd October 2018 at the MOH, Afya Annex building. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Jackson Kioko, Director of Medical Services (DMS) and co-chaired by Dr. Amit Thakker, chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF). This forum brought together different health stakeholders including Christian Health Associations of Kenya (CHAK), Nursing Council of Kenya, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), to discuss emerging issues in the private health sector, the progress made since the eighth MSF, and the way forward.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kioko thanked the private health sector team led by their chairman Dr. Thakker for their great efforts in advocacy and strengthening the partnership between the private sector and MOH. The DMS noted that MOH and the counties may not be able to provide 100% of the services therefore are very grateful for the contribution of the private sector. “Both public and private health sector should ensure that quality is at the core of delivering health services. We also need to train the health workers in having a good mind set, right attitude and good etiquette”, said Dr.Kioko. He further added that the human resource norms and standards need to be reviewed because they do not reflect the reality on the ground.
Dr. Thakker in his opening remarks thanked all the attendees for making the time to attend the forum and discuss Kenya’s health agenda. He emphasized that public – private dialogue is a two way engagement and PPP cannot be left to one party alone. Dr. Thakker assured indicated that KHF’s presentation on the role of the private sector will be shared with MOH ahead of Presidential Round Table (PRT). In the previous MSF, there were major issues that were discussed with much progress made including: Health Regulations – control of the cost of healthcare – it was agreed that implementation of the Health ACT 2017, including the Kenya health professional oversight authority will contribute towards control of healthcare costs; Regulation of doctor’s charges – it was suggested that a strong taskforce be formed to assess the doctors fees and procedures e.g. diagnostics, scans, medications, laboratory e.t.c. and give a report that will inform the regulation of the same.
It was agreed in the previous MSF meeting that KHF should be involved in the process of making Kenya quality model for health (KQMH) the minimum standards certifying tool in Kenya. Ms. Faith Muigai, regional director- Pharm Access foundation informed the attendees that AMREF has been an implementing partner and will share an official report soonest. Dr. Kioko reiterated that quality and standards is a vital area to focus on for UHC. “When it comes to matters of quality and standards, we are looking at collaborations”, said Dr. Kioko. Dr. Thakker suggested that the assessment starts with the areas providing low quality, then progress to areas providing high quality. KMPDB announced a joint inspection of health facilities, and requested KHF to send representatives to join the inspection team and give their input, to which KHF obliged.
Healthcare financing is very key in achieving UHC and the private sector is a major contributing partner. Dr.Kioko requested the private sector to present a well structured action plan on the role of the private sector. Dr.Thakker informed the DMS that the role of the private sector has not been clearly defined particularly in healthcare financing, because the role of NHIF vis-a-vis private health insurance is unclear. Dr.Thakker reported that KHF has visited seven counties to assess their healthcare financing needs and existing models. “The urgency of the counties is now. They have already modelled their own schemes and the big question is where does MOH see the role of the county schemes fitting. It is important that a risk pooling structure be clearly defined so that the private sector can engage”, added Dr. Thakker.
Dr. Kioko responded by saying that MOH is supporting the county financing schemes. “Although issues of sustainability and acceptability of the county medical schemes have been raised, we need to look at them positively and allow them to continue, as we look into how we can support them to be more cost effective” Dr. Kioko added. He further explained that the choice of pilot counties for UHC roll out was based on the need to cover the vulnerable first then the less vulnerable, and that the pilot will be a learning phase which will be monitored to determine which partners need to be brought on board.
Commenting on county managed schemes, Mr. Elkana Onguti of MOH however cautioned that too may pools end up in excessive administrative spend. Dr. Thakker then suggested to MOH to implement a regulatory authority that will regulate the schemes.
In matters of supply chain, KHF requested that regulations for appropriate control of parallel imports should be implemented. Dr. Siyoi, CEO, Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) reported that regulations have indeed been drafted and are due to be gazetted in a few days. Ms. Faith Muigai, regional Director, Pharm Access Foundation emphasized that when looking at strengthening quality and standards, supply chain should also be strengthened. Mr. Onguti, reported that a legal framework has identified some gaps in supply chain though the discussions have not been finalized.
On price control of medicines, Dr. Siyoi reported that a task force has been formed that is looking at price reduction strategies, and he will give a report on this once the task force completes their report. The issue of coding of medicines was raised by Dr. Peter Kamunyo, CEO, Medsource Group. Dr.Kioko invited KHF to prepare and present a proposal to MOH on coding. Dr. Daniella Munene, CEO, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), suggested that Kenya should select the global language of ATC codes as used by PPB to register medicines. Dr. Munene will work closely with PPB on this, to propose a workable coding system for medicines.
Communique KHF 2018(Click to Download)
Communique – Kenya Health Forum 2018(Click to Download)
Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) holds the first Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF) for the year 2018 with newly appointed Principal Secretary Mr Peter Tum
Principal Secretary (PS) for Health Kenya, Mr Peter K. Tum hosted his first Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF) on 17th April 2018 at Afya Annex. The Forum which was co-chaired by Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation was well attended by Ministry of Health (MOH) officials, KHF Directors, KHF Committee Chairs, Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Non-Governmental Organizations and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) coordinators.
The PS, in his opening remarks, acknowledged that engagement with the private sector is important due to the critical role it plays in all areas of Health, most importantly; policy development, supply chain of Health Commodities, Service Delivery in terms of facilities, Employment of Health workers, Patient Management , use of Technology, Research and Specialized Training. He noted that only by synergising the Public and Private Sector can we achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).
Dr. Thakker, extended his appreciation to the Ministry of Health for recognising the role of the private sector as the engine of growth and creating an enabling environment. These conditions have led to significant growth of the private sector in Kenya that currently caters for half the health work force as well as 50% of the current facilities in Kenya. The current contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is slightly over 2.3%, which is well above the Sub-Saharan African Countries average of 1.7%.
Mr Stephen Macharia – Public Private Partnership (PPP Unit – MOH) gave a presentation that highlighted the key issues discussed in previous MSF meetings. He identified the significance of the private sector as it has the highest number of healthcare facilities contributing to 54%. In addition, he pointed out that there is need to focus on the lower income level of the population that are not covered by health insurance. There is therefore a huge market for the Private Health Insurance.
There were Seven emerging issues identified among the private sector as; Health Regulations, Healthcare Financing, Supply Chain, E-Health and Technology, Public Private Partnerships, Human Resources and Quality & Standards.
Dr Amit Thakker addressed the first issue as Health Regulations, where He offered KHF inclusion in the Health Act implementation committees and stressed the need to have a neutral regulatory body (Health Benefits Regulatory Authority),that will govern both the Private and Public financing Institutions as we embark on accelerating Coverage for Universal Healthcare (UHC).
Mr Isaac Nzyoka (Chair – KHF Healthcare Financing Committee) expressed support of the government’s agenda on UHC. In his presentation, he stated that there is need to strengthen the role of the private sector in terms of Health Care financing because it has a lot to offer. Private Insurers have over 200 financial distribution centres in the country that can be very useful. He noted that one of the biggest challenges in UHC is reaching the entire population. The Private Sector can achieve this through technology that can enroll members and manage overall process efficiency.
Dr Louis Machogu – Vice Chair KHF Supply Chain Committee, emphasized that the cost of care needs to be reduced and we can do so by promoting local manufacturers of medicine through appropriate incentives. Both sectors need to come together to utilize the 5000 registered private sector pharmacists to negotiate lower costs. VAT on medical devices are calculated on the patient bill and this ought to be reversed. Regulations need to be strengthened for control on parallel imports and influx of substandard products.
Ms. Daniella Munene (Member KHF e-Health Committee) spoke on E-health and Technology where She requested that the harmonized coding system at National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF) be shared with the private sector which will result into a rich Data and innovation between the two sectors if they work together.
Ms. Joyce Wanderi – KHF Director & a member of KHF – PPP Committee proposed that the Public and Private Sector should organize a retreat to prioritize what the various pillars should be focusing on towards scaling up PPPs. She suggested greater transparency in the procurement process as well as looking at strengthening the PPP unit at MOH.
Mr. Ken Auma – Chair KHF Human Resource for Health Committee (HRH) Committee, Enlightened the members on the Multi Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) initiative under taken by KHF in regard to the 3 health cadres that need support which can play a role in UHC. He proposed that a unified curriculum be put in place for the 3 cadres and incentives be given to assist KMTC in the training process.
Anthony Jaccodul Vice – Chair KHF Quality & Standards Committee presented on quality and standards where He stressed on the need to include the Private Sector in the process of making Kenya Quality Model for Health (KQMH) the minimum standards certifying tool in Kenya as well as introducing a harmonized national coding system to enable data share.
Ms. Pauline Irungu, Vice Chair – Health NGOs Network (HENNET) emphasised that UHC needs to feature Quality of Care much more prominently.
Dr. Sam Mwenda, Chair – Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) reiterated that Kenyans need to be empowered to access facilities that they have not been able to, this will enhance the change.
The meeting was very productive with the hope of good collaboration in the Health sector towards achieving quality and affordable healthcare for all Kenyans.