Each household in the county is now required to pay Sh4, 000 within two years to fund free healthcare for all.
The amount will be paid in two equal installments.
Speaking during a tour of Buuri sub-county to assess the progress of development projects in his first year in office, Governor Kiraitu Murungi announced plans to roll out free healthcare programme for all county residents.
“This year we will unveil Meru Care, a universal healthcare programme which will transform our health services, promote preventive health and provide affordable health services to all the people of Meru, including the poor and the vulnerable,” said Mr Kiraitu.
He said all households would be required to pay Sh4, 000 to the county government, within two years, irrespective of the size of the family. The money will be used to stock and staff medical facilities to ensure free healthcare for all, he added.
When residents started murmuring after the announcement, Mr Kiraitu reassured them that the amount was negligible compared to the quality of service they would get in return.
Residents wondered why they should spend Sh4, 000 on a medical scheme when they were already paying for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover.
“Why should I pay all that money when I am already paying for NHIF which provides the same services?” asked Elizabeth Gikunda, a resident who was present at the event.
Residents urged the county government to conduct awareness about the programme before officially launching it.
The residents requested the county government to subsidise the payments to ensure low income families were able to contribute.