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Kenya's health budgets either slashed or stagnated

By Ally Jamah | Published Thu, June 9th 2016 at 00:00, Updated June 8th 2016 at 22:12 GMT +3

Most allocations to the health sector remained stagnant or were slashed in the 2016-17 budget compared with last year.

The Government allocated Sh4.3 billion to the free maternity programme, same as last year.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the free maternity programme, which was introduced in 2013, had reduced maternal and infant deaths by encouraging mothers to give birth in health facilities, under skilled birth attendants. But the failure to increase funds for the programme despite strong lobbying from players may attract criticism.

Mr Rotich allocated Sh4.5 billion as conditional grant for leasing medical equipment by counties like he did last year.

Health workers were also awarded Sh3 billion to finance their annual internship programmes, in which they are posted to public health facilities before they are allowed to graduate. The same figure was awarded last year. Rotich also allocated the Kenya Medical Training College Sh3.5 billion, same as last year.

Health insurance

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The elderly and disabled were awarded Sh500 million to enable them receive health insurance cover from the National Hospital and Insurance Fund. The same figure was awarded last year.

In the budget, Rotich also allocated Sh900 million for free access to all health centres and dispensaries, a similar figure like last year.

Allocation to Kenyatta National Hospital was slashed from Sh9.3 billion to Sh8.8 billion while the budget for Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital was reduced by Sh200 million to Sh5.6 billion. Both facilities are managed by the national government.

Level five hospitals, which are managed by counties, have been awarded Sh4 billion as conditional grant up from Sh3.6 billion last year.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute got Sh1.7 billion down from Sh1.9 billion while the National Aids Control Council got Sh600 million down from Sh900 million. The slum health programme was awarded Sh700 million down from Sh1 billion.

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