Retrogressive politics, wanton plunder of public funds and ‘inverted’ priorities are responsible for the poor performance of healthcare service provision in the country, Governor Alfred Mutua has said.
Dr Mutua says Kenya is capable of funding the Universal Health Coverage program across all counties provided all corruption and inefficiency loopholes were sealed.
Speaking on Thursday in the sidelines of the ongoing conference on universal health coverage in Kisumu, Mutua said provision of quality healthcare was a critical obligation for any Government to its citizens, and should therefore be accorded top priority.
“Healthcare is a basic right and no Kenyan should choose between going to the hospital and buying food. The challenge we have in our country is bad politics and our seemingly support of graft over the years, by rewarding, as a society, known thieves and inept leaders who have nothing more to offer the changing winds of our time,” said Mutua who is also the party leader of Maendeleo Chap Chap.
The Machakos governor said all that is needed is to fix healthcare in the country is eliminate graft and ensure priorities are got right. “The monies we need to run UHC in every county is about sh 55 billion which is little compared to the funds being stolen and lost through fraud, inefficiencies and misplaced priorities,” he said.
He said despite being endowed with enough resources, Kenyans have continued to wallow in poverty due to poor choice of leaders who expose them to graft and lethargy. Mutua said he was opposed to the scheme by a section of state bureaucrats who have been pushing for reassignment of Healthcare function to the National Government.
“The on-going games meant to galvanize a push for healthcare to revert back to the National Government has nothing to do with provision of health services to poor Kenyans but a clamor for money,” he said.
The governor praised President Uhuru Kenyatta for launching the UHC initiative in the country, which is currently under pilot in four counties among them Machakos.
Mutua said corruption cartels at the Ministry of Health headquarters have been behind the scheme to have provision of Healthcare services reassigned back to Afya House.
“Since the advent of devolution, healthcare provision has improved tremendously. Issues are dealt with at source and health workers supervised locally. There is no way we can revert to the old system. Kenyans will not agree,” he said.
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