Kenya Healthcare Federation Fourth Bimonthly Members Meeting
Kenya Healthcare Federation(KHF) held it’s fourth bi-monthly members meeting on 29th August 2018, at Pride Inn Hotel in Westlands. This was the first meeting after the new Board of Directors and committee chairs and vice chairs were elected to serve for a term of three years. The meeting was sponsored by Lufthansa Group Airlines.
The federation chairman Dr. Amit Thakker started off the meeting by welcoming the members and invited guests, particularly extending a warm welcome to new members. Mr. Tobias Ernst, Regional sales Director, Lufthansa Group Airlines, thanked the federation chair, Board of Directors and the entire KHF membership for the good relationship that was established between KHF and Lufthansa Group Airlines. He said he was looking forward to working together in enhancing quality and better healthcare to Kenyans. Mr. Tobias further emphasized that health & medical products are a niche business for Lufthansa Group Airlines, which offers high impact, customer focused professional medical services.
“Lufthansa sees the importance and need to offer a state-of-the-art medical portfolio to our customers. As the world’s population is getting older, people seek healthcare abroad and might need to get back to their home country when injured during vacation or seek intensive care abroad.” Mr. Ernst said. He then extended an invitation to medical doctors within KHF to register as “doctors on board” with Lufthansa Airline.
The meeting was also graced by Book Aid International whose mission is to enhance access to quality health information through donations of books hence making education more affordable and accessible.
Northern Nomadic Disabled Persons Organization (NONDO), Isiolo County were also present and made a presentation. They announced that they would host a conference from 27th – 29th September 2018 during which there would be a desert wheel race to fund-raise for 100 children from nomadic, arid and semiarid counties who need corrective surgery.
There were updates from KHF committees on the progress they’ve made in terms of advocacy. The healthcare financing committee has held five county stakeholder engagement forums on healthcare financing. The counties engaged were Kisumu, Kirinyanga, Uasingishu, Makueni and Isiolo. The county health teams reported that the forums were beneficial in guiding them to carefully consider affordable financing models that will be tailor made for the needs of their counties and that will enable all their residents access quality healthcare without financial strain.
The public – private partnership (PPP) committee has been playing a key role in the Presidential Round Table (PRT), the Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). Some of the issues the committee has been handling are identifying gaps in the public health sector, proposing solutions and pushing for implementation. There is an ambitious task ahead to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) whose requirements in terms of time and resources cannot come from the government alone. Therefore, the dialogue around Public Private Partnership (PPP) is important. It was reported that the private health sector through KHF had been invited to participate in the stakeholder engagement with the Health Benefits Advisory Panel established by MoH.
There is a problem in recruitment and retention of human resources for health (HRH) and this needs to be addressed by the public health sector in consultation with private health sector. The public health sector needs to source and retain human capital, develop specialized cadres and address neglected cadres.The HRH committee has been advocating for innovative models as part of the solution and advising the sector accordingly through various forums available such as conferences, MSF, Council of Governors (COG) and county engagements.
The health regulations & quality standards and supply chain committees have been advocating for quality and safe healthcare, stressing that the focus on affordable healthcare should not distract the country from ensuring quality health services. Quality accreditation of health institutions is one way to ensure safe care of patients. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a growing concern in our country. People living with NCDs are particularly subjected to financial strain as their treatment is often life long. Seeing as NCD patient care is mostly through medication, the supply chain committee recognizes that the cost of medicines in Kenya needs to be addressed. The committee advocates for support of local manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, which will lower the cost of medication.
Committees have carried out elections of officials for a new term. Dr. Torooti Mwirigi and Ms. Serah Mohamed have been elected as chair and vice chair respectively in the ICT & Mobile Health committee. Mr. Kennedy Auma remains chair of HRH Committee, with Dr. Joyce Sitonik as vice chair. Mr. Antony Okoth is the chair of PPP Committee with Dr. Christine Sadia as the vice chair. Ms. Millicent Olulo is the chair of the Health Regulations & Quality Standards committee with Mr. Antony Jaccodul as vice chair. Dr. William Mwatu remains chair of the Supply Chain committee with Mr. Chris Masila elected as vice chair.
Sustainable Financing for Expanding Quality Healthcare in Africa Workshop.
Health Finance and Governance(HCG) a project of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held an organizational workshop in Kampala, Uganda from 13 – 18 May 2018.The workshop brought together private sector in a panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Financing for Expanding Quality Healthcare in Africa Workshop’.
This workshop was a platform for mission staff, to enhance their knowledge in health financing and to exchange experiences across missions to design future assistance, to countries for attaining sustainable universal health coverage with reduced donor dependency.
HCG project supports it’s partners in low and middle income countries to strengthen the health finance and governance functions of their health systems and access to life saving health services.
Dr Amit Thakker- Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation, presented on public private dialogue experiences in the continent and the role of each stakeholder to enhance such dialogues. The presentation touched on the Ministerial Stakeholder Forum in Kenya as an example of an important mechanism to improve public private dialogue through the voice of the Kenya Healthcare Federation. The presentation was followed by interactive discussions on how donors such as USAID can support and facilitate efforts of the private sector to strengthen health systems in Africa.
John Mackay – USAID, Rwanda, presented on private sector engagement in Rwanda. From his analysis, there are 45,000 Community Health Volunteers that are not paid, 94% of births takes place in health centers and 64% of total health expenditure in Rwanda comes from Donors.
He emphasized that there is a need to engage the private sector especially to have avenues of organized engagement for processes of consultation and system building. “Global Development Alliance (GDA) will support a unique public private partnership at health posts.” John Mackay
Indicators show that Uganda is very donor dependent where aid funding primarily focuses on the public sector. Regulation is out of date and difficult to implement access to financing
“There is need to be transparent and have open communication between the ministry of health (MoH) and private sector but MOH leadership is key in this. People do not realize that the private sector plays an important role in helping the poor – this perception needs to change. However, Donors can play a brokering role between the public and private sector.” Andrew Kyambadde – Uganda.
Ricardo Missihoum from Benin presented his analysis in that 65% of health services are in the private sector and 60% of health products are distribute by the informal sector in Benin.
“There should be emphasis on grouping private sector and capacity building for better engagement with donors and government and there is an impetus to support private healthcare federations in their aspirations to strengthen health systems in a sustainable way. However, Donors play an important role to play in the consolidation of the private sector because we understand the government and donor systems.” Ricardo Missihoun – Benin.
The workshop was very productive and eye opening in implementing Sustainable Financing for Expanding Quality Healthcare in Africa.