UHC pilot
Four counties have last year taken part in the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot which kicked off in December last year.

Residents of Isiolo, Machakos, Kisumu and Nyeri have been receiving next to free medical services as part of the programme ahead of the nationwide roll-out.

About 80 per cent of the money for the pilot has gone into the purchase of drugs and basic medical equipment, the Health ministry said, with additional Sh800 million allocated to each of the regions for complicated cases that would be referred outside the participating counties.

The pilot has had its fair share of troubles especially in Kisumu where doctors have been on strike for the three months. Counties have also had to grapple with drug shortage.

The ministry’s approach to achieving UHC has been through removal of user fees at all public hospitals, including level four and five facilities and ensuring commodity security through the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa). Kemsa, however, has been unable to deliver 100 per cent of the required drugs.

The hospitals have also experienced a surge in numbers where the county data shows a 300 per cent increase, which could mean trust in the facilities or easier access to healthcare given the low costs.